Lavrov: Applying “Stop to Fighting acts” in Syria depends on the US willingness
17 February، 2016
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that applying an agreement which was agreed upon in Munich to stop “the fighting acts” in Syria depends on the will of the US.
“Everything has become connected to the Americans whether they are ready to cooperate on the military level or not,” Lavrov told reporters responding a question about his evolution to the success of applying that agreement.
Russia and the US have agreed in Munich to form a working group to apply “a cease-fire” in Syria.
He added that the working group will do its duties in Geneva and hold regular meetings, headed by the US and Russia with participation of experts.
Replying a question about comments of chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel on establishing so-called “No-fly zone in northern Syria”, Lavrov considered this as a Turkish proposal not Merkel’s.
Turkish Army Readying to Launch Direct Military Invasion of Syria
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish Army, worried about the imminent collapse of terrorist-held lands North of Syria, has sent more military equipment and troops to one of the Turkish border cities near Syria following the recent victories of the Syrian army and Kurdish fighters against the militants in the provinces of Aleppo and Lattakia.
The city of Kilis in the Southern part of Turkey near the border with Syria and the Gaziantep-Aleppo highway has been the destination of a growing number of Turkish army troops and their modern arms and military equipment, the Turkish language news agency, Duqan reported.
Under the pretext of fight against the ISIL, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have announced their readiness to dispatch ground forces to Syria.
The Turkish deputy prime minister announced that his country is resolved to establish a buffer zone at Turkey-Syria border with the length of 10 kilometers, including the Syria’s Northern city of Azaz in the buffer zone.
A report said on Tuesday that a Tal Rifat-bound column of fresh militants recruited and trained in Turkey was targeted by the Syrian and Russian warplanes on a road near the newly-liberated city in the Northern part of Aleppo, adding that 300 terrorists were killed in the air raid.
The Russian and Syrian fighter jets, in a joint operation, tracked and targeted an over 300-member convoy of fresh militants, who had earlier crossed the Syria-Turkey border to join the terrorist groups operating in Tal Rifat and its surroundings.
The militants column was on a road connecting Azaz and Tal Rifat.
In addition to the killing and wounding of almost the entire members of the column, the terrorists’ vehicles and weapons were also destroyed in the air raid.
Reports said earlier on Tuesday that the Turkish Army’s artillery units pounded the strategic city of Tel Rifat North of Syria’s Aleppo province that was taken back by the Kurdish fighters from the terrorists last night.
Positions of the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Tal Rifat came under the massive shelling of the Turkish artillery since early hours of Tuesday.
The Kurdish fighters that are backed up by the Russian air force have been making rapid advances in the Northern parts of Aleppo and the Turkish artillery shelling seems to be aimed at stopping their advances against the militant groups in the region that is close to the border with Turkey.
On Monday night, the YPG, who have recently bonded with the government, prevailed over the terrorists in the highly strategic city of Tal Rifat in Northern Aleppo and captured the city.
The YPG, who enjoyed the Russian air backup, prevailed the terrorists’ positions from the Western direction and shook hand with other Kurdish troops who entered the town from the North.
The YPG Kurds have recently bonded with the Damascus government. The Syrian army sent several arms cargoes to the YPG troops in the Northeastern province of Hasaka and trained the first group of Kurdish volunteer forces in the provincial capital city of Hasaka last week.
FNA battlefield dispatches said Monday night that heavy clashes are underway on the Eastern outskirts of the city as Ahrar al-Sham terrorists and groups of Al-Nusra Front – that have just arrived in Northern Aleppo via the Turkish territories – are retreating from their positions.
The Kurdish fighters, backed up by the Russian fighter jets, Syrian army artillery units and popular forces launched the assault on the terrorists in Tal Rifat in two fronts.
The first units of the YPG engaged in clashes with the terrorists from the Western direction of the strategic town North of Aleppo province, while other units started an attack from the Northern flank.
The first group arrived at the Western gates of the town on Sunday, while the second group had to purge several small towns and villages to open up the path to Tal Rifat and, hence, arrived in the Northern parts of the city on Monday.
The second groups of Kurdish fighters approaching the strategic town from the North comprised of YPG and SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) units.
The SDF that is comprised of mainly Kurdish fighters as well as a few hundred Syrian Arab dissident forces have received training from the US and have been provided with scanty US-coalition air support in their battles in Raqqa province in Northeastern Syria; but in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts, they have been operating alongside the YPG and received the Russian air backup in their Aleppo wars that started with the conquest of Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates early in February.
Assisted by the Syrian army – that has along with popular forces and Hezbollah conquered almost all militant-held regions in Eastern, Southern, Western and Northwestern Aleppo province – and Russian air support, the Kurdish forces fighting against the terrorists in North-Northeast Aleppo province have been making striking advances against the Al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and ISIL terrorists in February.
“The militant groups have been surprised by the rapid offensive of the Kurdish fighters and have been pinned down behind their defense lines in Tal Rifat,” sources from the Western flank told FNA on Sunday.
“The Russian warplanes carried out several combat sorties over the militants’ position in the around the town and destroyed their defense lines,” they added.
Later on Sunday, the Kurdish fighters, backed by Russian fighter jets, engaged in intense clashes with the terrorist groups at the Western entrance of the strategic town and captured several building blocks.
To hinder to slow down the rapid advances of the Northern units, Turkey relocated hundreds of terrorists from Idlib province to Aleppo via its soil in the weekend.
“At least 400 militants were transferred to Northern Aleppo to help the terrorists who are losing the ground to the Kurdish fighters who are backed by Russian air force,” Arab media outlets disclosed on Sunday.
In addition, the Turkish army started days of nonstop pounding of the Kurdish fighters in Northern Aleppo on Friday to pin them down specially in the North and prevent them from shaking hands with other Kurdish troops fighting in the Northern Aleppo town.
The Turkish army shelling has targeted both Syrian army positions in Northern Lattakia and Kurdish fronts in Northern Aleppo and continued for four days now.
Several villages in vast areas of Afrin in Northwestern Syria came under artillery shelling by the Turkish army and terrorist groups all throughout Sunday.
The Turkish army, Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham pounded the villages of Marimin and Anab in Afrin region on Sunday. Residents of Marimin and Anab said that their villages were hit with over numerous rockets and 30 artillery shells today.
Report said on Saturday that Turkey’s army shelled Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) positions near the city of Azaz in Northwestern Syria. Turkish forces started shelling an airbase and a village, recently captured by Kurds, in Aleppo province in Syria.
A Kurdish official confirmed that the shelling targeted the Minaq air base located South of Azaz in Aleppo province.
“Turkish forces started shelling the YPG positions on the territory of the Minaq airbase,” a YPG spokesperson told the Arabic-language TV channel, Al-Mayadeen on Saturday.
Turkey vowed on Sunday that it would not allow the pro-government forces in Syria to capture the militant-held city of Azaz close to its border.
On Monday, the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG), enjoying Russian air backup, continued to advance against the militant groups in the Northern part of Aleppo province and stormed the militant groups’ defense lines near the small town of Kaljabrein in the surroundings of Tal Rifat, killing, at least, 40 terrorists.
The Russian fighter jets have played significant role in the recent victories of the Kurdish fighters in the province.
The Kurdish fighters seized control over Kaljabrein-Tal Rifat road and killed one of the commanders of Jeish al-Fatah, nom de guerre Ismayeel Naddaf.
Later on Monday, a main line of supply of the terrorist groups to Tal Rifat was cut by the heavy mortar shelling of the YPG forces.
“The YPG forces, deployed on the road of Ein al-Daqnah to Kaljabrein, pounded a road connecting Tal Rifat to the towns of Azaz and Marea in the Northern part of Aleppo province, leaving the militants in Tal Rifat with no way towards its Northern side,” sources said.
Sources also said “both the Kurdish fighters and the terrorists have been targeting each other by their artillery shelling since the early hours of this (Monday) morning”.
A report said on Monday that the Syrian army once again deployed the Russian T-90 tanks against the terrorists in Aleppo Front in Northern Syria.
Turkey to Begin War on Syria If Syrian Pro-government Forces Capture Azaz
TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkey will officially launched military invasion of Syria if the strategic town of Azaz in the Northern province of Aleppo is won back by the Syrian Kurds, senior political analyst warned on Wednesday.
“If Kurdish forces succeed in retaking Azaz region, Turkey will officially enter the war on Syria,” Hassan Hassan told the Arabic-language al-Ray al-Youm news website on Wednesday.
“Azaz is an important town and has a complicated situation; therefore, Turkey will not allow Kurdish forces to take it,” he noted.
Arguing that Azaz is important to all sides in Syria, Hassan said, “The town is important to Iran and Russia since they seek to block the supply routes of the terrorists from Turkey to Aleppo. Kurdish forces want to link under-their-control regions to each other through Azaz. And the ISIL terrorist group which has seized control of the town since two years ago, attaches great importance to its continued grip.”
Earlier reports on Wednesday said the Turkish artillery have opened fire at the Kurdish fighters’ bases near the city of Azaz in Northern Aleppo.
The Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG), who have recently allied with the government, continued advancing in the Northern part of Aleppo province on Tuesday and seized back one more key village in the Southern side of the newly-liberated city of Tal Rifat.
The YPG forces alongside other Kurdish fighters, including the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), drove the militant groups back from the village of Kafr Naseh in a several-hour battle.
The Kurdish fighters are now engaged in a tough battle in some parts of Kafr Naseh to hunt the rest of the terrorists.
Scores of the militants have been killed or severely wounded in the battle in Tel Rifat region – that includes a strategic city and tens of villages – in the last several days.
The Kurdish fighters also are trying to persuade the militant groups to lay down their arms and turn in themselves to the YPG or SDF forces.
With the capture of Tal Rifat and its nearby lands and villages, including Kafr Naseh, the Kurdish fighters have approximately reached the ISIL-held territories in the Northeastern regions of Aleppo province.
HUMANITARIAN AID REACHING PEOPLE MOST IN NEED
Aid convoys enter Kafraya, Foua, al-Moaddamiyeh, Madaya and Zabadani
17 February، 2016
Idleb, Damascus Countryside, SANA
An aid convoy entered on Wednesday the towns of Kafraya and Foua in Idleb countryside which are besieged by the terrorist organizations.
Ahmad al-Najem, coordinator of field operations in (SARC) said in a statement to SANA reporter that a convoy of humanitarian aid including 18 trucks containing various food aid and 8000 flour bags in addition to a medical team headed to the towns of Kafraya and Foua.
Two aid convoys entered Kafraya and Foua on January 14th and distributed aid to the locals who number more than 20000 in implementation of the plan agreed among the Syrian government, the United Nations, the SARC and the International Red Cross.
The towns of Kafraya and Foua which are located 10 kilometers to the north of Idleb city are besieged by Jaish al-Fateh terrorists and suffer from mortar and rocket terrorist attacks and car bombs in a desperate attempt to break the will of locals.
Meanwhile, a 35-lorry convoy of relief aid has entered al-Moaddamiyeh town in Damascus Countryside.
SANA correspondent said that 35 trucks loaded with food, medical and relief aid entered the town under the supervision of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the United Nations.
A source in Damascus Countryside said that the aid includes 8800 flour bags, 4400 food rations, amounts of medicines and health equipment.
The source said that the aid will be distributed among the needy families in implementation of the governmental plans to deliver aid to all Syrian areas.
On February 3rd, Damascus Countryside governorate, in cooperation with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), distributed aid packages to families in al-Tal and Mu’adamiyat al-Sham cities in the framework of a Syrian government plan to distribute nearly 12000 food and health packages to the needy.
New aid convoy enters towns of Madaya and Zabadani in Damascus Countryside
Meanwhile, a new aid convoy carrying tons of relief aid entered the towns of Madaya and Zabadani in Damascus countryside under the supervision of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the United Nations less than a month after 88 trucks loaded with aid entered the town of Madaya.
Ahmad al-Najem, coordinator of field operations in (SARC) said in a statement to SANA reporter that the convoy includes 59 trucks loaded with 15600 flour bags and about 4100 food rations in addition to medicines.
For his part, Muhannad al-Asadi of SARC said that a mobile clinic entered Madaya on Wednesday to check the critical conditions in the town.
Takfiri terrorist groups which are active in Madaya opened fire at the cars of the International Red Cross and SARC missions while they were entering the town to get the critical conditions out on February 9th.
The Syrian government, in cooperation with SARC and the UN managed to get 85 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid into Madaya on January 11th and 14th which contained dozens of tons of food and other aid to the locals there.
Russian planes will deliver daily humanitarian aid to Deir Ezzor
17 February، 2016
The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the Russian planes will deliver daily food aid and other UN humanitarian aid to Deir Ezzor.
The ministry said that the humanitarian situation in Syria cannot be handled without a political settlement to the crisis.
Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that the issue of organizing humanitarian airdrops to the locals of Deir Ezzor is being studied and the UN World Food Program is ready to begin a large-scale operation in cooperation with a Russian air company.
In a relevant context, the Russian Foreign Ministry called in a statement published by RT TV channel on those who have influence over the armed groups in Syria to exert pressure on them to allow humanitarian aid to enter to the besieged areas.
The ministry also expressed grave concern over the death of 15 civilians by the international coalition led by Washington in airstrikes against al-Shaddadi city in northeast Syria, calling on all the coalition’s members, mainly Ankara to exert all efforts to avoid killing civilians.
Over 70 ISIS terrorists killed in Aleppo, key position destroyed in Eastern Ghouta
17 February، 2016
Dozens of terrorists have been killed as the army goes on with its intensive operations against their positions and hideouts in various areas.
The army’s air force carried out intensive sorties targeting hideouts of ISIS terrorists in al-Bab city and the villages of Jub Ghabsheh, Eibed, Souran, Tal Alam, Deir Qaq, Sarjeh and al-Zaalaneh, 30km north east of Aleppo city, a military source told SANA on Wednesday.
About 70 terrorists were killed and 70 others were injured in the airstrikes, said the source, adding that a number of vehicles and key positions for ISIS terrorists were destroyed.
In Aleppo city, army units targeted terrorist organizations’ sites in the neighborhoods of al-Rashidin, al-Ramouseh and al-Sakhour, killing a number of terrorists and injuring others.
A key position for the terrorists was destroyed in Kafr Batna town in Eastern Ghouta in Damascus countryside.
The position was hit in army airstrikes that targeted sites of the terrorists of the so-called “Liwaa al-Islam” and “Jaish al-Islam” that are active in Eastern Ghouta.
Units of the army killed and injured 27 terrorists while trying to attack positions on al-Qantara al-Shimalya-al-Rmeilah road in Hamad countryside.
Earlier, the army’s air force hit positions for Jaish al-Fateh and other terrorist organizations in Kafr Zita, Jeb al-Rayan and Kefr Nabbouda in the northern countryside of Hama province.
A number of vehicles and positions for the terrorists were destroyed and 7 terrorists were killed and 5 were injured in the airstrikes.
Sites for ISIS terrorists were also targeted in army airstrikes in al-Rahjan village, 50 km east of Hama city, where vehicles equipped with machineguns and hideouts including arms and ammunition were destroyed.
In the countryside of the neighboring Idleb province, 10 Jaish al-Fateh terrorists were killed and 19 others were injured in airstrikes on their positions in al-Hamediyeh, Abu al-Duhour and Khan Sheikhoun.
Units of the army destroyed dens, gatherings and vehicles for Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists in talbeisah, tir Ma’ala, ghantu and Kisin in Homs northern countryside.
The army’s operations in Homs eastern countryside targeted the terrorists in Tloul al-Sud, Rmeili on the road to al-Qaryatin, killing a number of terrorists and destroying their dens.
Army units restored security and stability to a number of villages and points in the northern countryside of Lattakia after inflicting heavy losses in personnel and munitions upon terrorist organizations.
Army units in cooperation with popular defense groups established control over the southern side of Shalaf citadel, Sheir al-Qaboa, al-Amouli Mountain and Point 422 and restored security and stability to the villages of Marj al-Zawiyeh near Kansaba and the villages of al-Aidou and al-Qastal.
This came after killing a number of terrorists and destroying their arms, ammunition and vehicles before the remaining terrorists fled away.
The army’s operations continued in Daraa al-Balad area in the southern province of Daraa, according to a military source.
The source said all members of a terrorist group were killed in the southeastern part of al-Manshiyeh neighborhood and a vehicle was moving near a terrorist position in the area surrounding al-Awqaf Department’s building was destroyed during the operations.
In the northeastern countryside of the neighboring Sweida province, an army unit targeted gatherings of ISIS terrorists and some of their fortified sites in Tal Fara, killing all members of a terrorist group and destroying their weapons and ammunition.
Units of the army that defend the military airport of Deir Ezzor killed tens of ISIS terrorists while they were trying to the attack the airport from the eastern side.
The army restores security to Masqan village in Aleppo northern countryside
A child severely injured in terrorist rocket attack in Daraa city
17 February، 2016
Terrorists targeted a number of neighborhoods in Daraa city with rocket shells on Wednesday morning.
Sources at Daraa Police Command told SANA reporter that the shells fell as students were going to schools and people were heading to their work places.
A child was severely injured by a rocket shell that fell in al-Kashef neighborhood, said the sources, adding that the attacks caused material damage to a number of houses and to the infrastructure.
A car loaded with anti-tank mines and artillery shells for terrorists ambushed in Sweida
17 February، 2016
A car loaded with munitions bound for the terrorist organizations in the Syrian al-Badiya (desert) was ambushed Wednesday morning in the western countryside of Sweida province.
A source at Sweida governorate said the authorities had information that the terrorists were preparing to transport a large amount of mines to al-Badiya across Khirbet al-Ghoutheh area.
The authorities ambushed the car in the area at dawn and clashed with the terrorists.
The car, which was coming from the eastern countryside of the neighboring Daraa province, was carrying 246 anti-tank mines and artillery shells hidden inside a tanker mounted on the car, the source said.
Two days ago, the authorities and the popular defense groups seized a pickup laden with hundreds of U.S. and Israeli made anti-tank mines in the western countryside of Sweida coming from Daraa.
Syrian Army Blocking Terrorists’ Supply Lines from Turkey
TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior military expert lashed out at the Ankara and Riyadh governments for supporting the terrorist groups in Syria, and said that the Syrian army has closed the border holes used by the militants as supply and logistical routes.
“The Syrian army has closed off the border checkpoints used by the terrorists as supply lines from the outside world,” retired Lebanese Army General Walid Zeitouni told FNA on Wednesday.
He underlined that the Syrian army backed by its allies and Russian air force has achieved great and strategic military gains over the past two months.
“As the terrorists’ supply routes from Turkey are cut, they will be forced to surrender themselves to the government forces,” Brigadier General Zeitouni added.
He, meantime, pointed to the plans by the Turkish and Saudi governments to send ground troops to Syria, and called on the international community to prevent them from achieving their goals.
In relevant remarks earlier today, another prominent military analyst blasted the Riyadh and Ankara governments for planning military interventions in Syria, and warned that Syria backed by its resistance allies will give a crushing response to the foreign aggressors.
“The resistance alliance forces will respond to any aggression by attacking Turkey,” Military strategist Mohammad Issa al-Sheikh told FNA.
He underlined that the Turkish army will not dare to go beyond artillery attacks, because it is afraid of Russia’s air force and it knows that its fighter jets will be downed by the Russian fighter jets.
The idea of Riyadh’s possible participation in ground operations in Syria was first raised on February 4 by Ahmed Asiri, a spokesman for the Saudi Defense Ministry.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia are both part of an effort to create an alleged “Islam Army,” ostensibly aimed at combating terrorism in the region and consisting of 34 Sunni Islam nations.
Almost the entire range of extremist and terrorist groups are supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, with their key commanders and leaders being Saudi nationals. ISIL, Al-Nusra and other extremist groups pursue the same line of ideology exercised and promoted by Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism. Hundreds of Saudi clerics are among the ranks of ISIL and Al-Nusra to mentor the militants.
Wahhabism is now the only source of the textbooks taught at schools in the self-declared capital of the ISIL terrorist group, Raqqa, in Northeastern Syria resembling the texts and lessons taught to schoolgoers in Saudi Arabia. The Wahhabi ideology, an extremist version of Sunni Islam that is promoted almost only in Saudi Arabia, sees all other faiths – from other interpretations of Sunni Islam to Shiism, Christianity and Judaism – as blasphemy, meaning that their followers should be decapitated as nonbelievers.
Early in February, the Saudi Defense Ministry said it stood ready to deploy ground troops to Syria to allegedly aid the US-led anti-ISIL, also known as Daesh, coalition.
Riyadh has been a member of the US-led coalition that has been launching airstrikes against Daesh in Syria since September 2014, without the permission of Damascus or the United Nations. In December 2015, Saudi Arabia started its own Muslim 34-nation coalition to allegedly fight Islamic extremism.
Daesh or ISIL/ISIS is a Wahhabi group mentored by Saudi Arabia and has been blacklisted as a terrorist group everywhere in the world, including the United States and Russia, but Saudi Arabia.
Damascus, Tehran and Moscow have issued stern warnings to Riyadh, stressing that the Saudi intruders, who in fact intend to rescue the terrorists that are sustaining heavy defeats these days, will be crushed in Syria.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem warned that any ground operation in Syria without Damascus’ approval is an “act of aggression”, warning that the Saudi aggressors “would go back home in coffins”.
In Tehran, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said Saudi Arabia doesn’t have the guts to send its armed forces to Syria.
“They claim they will send troops (to Syria) but I don’t think they will dare do so. They have a classic army and history tells us such armies stand no chance in fighting irregular resistance forces,” Jafari said.
“This will be like a coup de grâce for them. Apparently, they see no other way but this, and if this is the case, then their fate is sealed,” he added.
Jafari, said this is just cheap talks, but Iran welcomes the Saudi decision if they decide to walk on this path.