Syrian Front: Reconciliation Process Progressing as Counter-Terror Ops Continue

Syrian Front : Turkish Army Crosses Border with Syria to Create Buffer Zone


Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu ordered to redeploy main part of the Russian Armed Forces grouping which had been performing tasks on eliminating terrorists in Syria, starting from March 15, 2016

In accordance to the order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the Defence Minister of the Russian Federation General of the Army Sergei Shoigu commanded to redeploying main part of the Russian Armed Forces grouping, which had been performing tasks on eliminating terrorists in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, to the territory of the Russian Federation starting March 15, 2016.

Technical staff of the airbase started preparing aircraft for the long-range flight to the Russian Federation airfields.

The personnel are loading equipment, logistics items and inventory into transport aviation aircraft.

Aircraft are to carry out flight from the Hmeymim airbase to permanent location airfields on the territory of Russia accompanied by military transport aviation. In the course of the long-range flight (more than 5,000 km), the aircraft will conduct intermediate flight stops at the Russian Federation airfields for being refueling and technical condition monitoring.

First group of aircraft has left Hmeymim airbase for permanent location airfields in the territory of the Russian Federation

The first group of aircraft has left Hmeymim airbase for permanent location airfields in the territory of the Russian Federation.

Tu-154 is the “leader” of the group. The group also included ‎Su34 multifunctional bombers.

Long-range flights of the Russian aircraft from the Hmeymim airbase to permanent location airfields in the territory of Russia are performed in groups.

Each group has a “leader” (‎Tu-154? or ‎Il-76), which transports engineering and technical personnel, and logistics items, and Russian warplanes of different types are following it.

The group follows the assigned route until it reaches the border of the Russian Federation. Having reached the borders, all the aircraft are to reach their airfield independently.

If it is necessary, the aircraft are conducting intermediate flight stops at military airfields for refueling and technical condition monitoring during the flight over territories of the Russian Federation.

First group of Su-34 bombers arrived at the Western MD airbase in Voronezh region

First group of Su-34 bombers, which had taken off from the Hmeymim airbase and performed long-range flight, arrived at the military airfield of the Western military district in the Voronezh region.

Before landing, the aircraft performed fly-over at low altitudes over the military airfield.

Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces Colonel General Viktor Bondarev took part in the ceremony devoted to meeting pilots, who had been performing tasks in the Syrian Arab Republic.

Relatives and friends were also meeting the pilots.

Report of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic (March 15, 2016)

General information on the application of measures for the reconciliation of opposing sides

In the course of last 24 hours, in Ain al-Bad (Hama province), truce agreements have been signed with elders of seven towns in the Hama province. More than 600 citizens were present at the signing ceremony.

Total number of towns, which had joined the ceasefire agreements, has reached 51 one.

Negotiations with leaders of 5 armed formations active in the province of Aleppo are continued. Ceasefire application forms signed with leaders of armed groupings remained 42 ones.

Specialists of the Russian Centre for reconciliation took part in working sessions with representatives of administration of the Damascus, Hama, Homs, and al-Quneitra provinces. Issues concerning ceasefire and humanitarian aid have been discussed.

Results of ceasefire monitoring

In the course of last 24 hours, 15 ceasefire violations have been registered (Damascus – 6, Aleppo, Idlib, Hama, and Homs – by 2 in each, Latakia – 1).

Militants placing themselves in Sultan Murad Brigade and Ahrar al-Sham opened fire with mortars against Kurdish militia detachments in Sheikh Maqsood (Aleppo) two times.

Moreover, Jeish al-Islam formations carried out two mortar attacks on positions of the government troops in Marg (Eastern Ghouta, Damascus).

Sheikh Gilal village (Hama province) has suffered attacks with multiple launch rocket systems from southern suburbs of Jub Saad.

After the artillery preparation fire, militants of unidentified armed groups attacked units of the government troops, which had been located in suburbs of al-Khadar (Aleppo province).

Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian Air Forces did not make strikes on armed formations, which follow ceasefire regime and informed the Russian or American Centres for reconciliation about their location.

Humanitarian aid to the population of Syria

Working session was held with representatives of “Ministry of regional governance” public organization on issues concerning organizing cooperation in providing humanitarian aid to the Syrian population.

In the course of last 24 hours, the Russian Centre for reconciliation has delivered 4 tons of humanitarian cargoes to Ain Bad (Hama province). The citizens have received food products and bottled drinking water.

Humanitarian convoys to the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus and Homs are being formed.

Additional information

Leadership of the Russian Centre for reconciliation (Hmeymim airbase) and the American Coordination Centre (Amman) held teleconferences. The parties discussed humanitarian situation of the Damascus province and shared information about ceasefire violations.

According to the information received by the Russian Centre for reconciliation from civilians, militants of Jabhat al-Nusra are keeping more than 40 people in prison located in Abu al-Duhur (Idlib province).

Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation


Russia Begins Withdrawal of Forces from Syria Beginning March 15, 2016


Russian military in Syria to be protected by air defense systems
Russia's S-400 air defense systems in Syria
MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. The remaining Russian contingent in Syria will be safely protected, including by advanced air defense systems, Kremlin chief of staff Sergey Ivanov said on Tuesday.

“We will leave [in Syria] a full safe protection of the remaining contingent, its smaller part – protection from the air, the sea and the ground,” Ivanov told reporters responding to a question if Russia will leave its S-400 air defense systems in Syria.

“To ensure security, including from the air, state-of-the-art air defense systems are needed,” Ivanov said.


Russian-Syrian air defense force

  • Pantsir-S1 (SS-22 Greyhound) close-in SAM/AA systems;
  • Osa-AKM (SA-8 Gecko);
  • S-125 Pechora-2M (SA-3 Goa) short-range (SHORAD) SAM systems;
  • Buk-M2E (SA-17 Grizzly) medium-range SAM systems;
  • S-200VE Vega (SA-5 Gammon);
  • S-400 Triumph long-range SAM systems.

Russia will step up the fight against terrorism, he stressed, but added that there is no more need for such a contingent that used to be in Syria. “At the moment, I think the first aircraft have already got off the ground and are en route to the motherland,” he said.

The defense ministry said earlier in the day that the first group of Russian planes has left the Hmeimim air base in Syria for their permanent locations in Russia. “The group consists of the leader plane – a Tupolev-154 liner – and multi-role bombers Sukhoi-34,” the ministry said.

President Putin ordered on Monday to start withdrawing the main part of Russia’s forces from Syria as of March 15. He said the tasks assigned to the military were generally fulfilled.

Russia has been carrying out an anti-terror operation in Syria since September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian President Assad.


A total of 51 communities join reconciliation in Syria

MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. The number of communities that have joined the reconciliation process in Syria has reached 51, the Russian center for reconciliation has said in a news release published on the Defense Ministry’s website.

“During the past 24 hours reconciliation agreements have been signed with the elders of seven villages in Hama province. The ceremony took place in Ain al-Bad, Hama province. A crowd of 600 local residents was present. The number of communities that have joined the reconciliation agreement has reached 51,” the news release runs.

Talks are in progress on ending hostilities with the leaders of five armed groups in Aleppo province. The number of groups that have agreed to cease fire has remained unchanged over the past day – 42.

“Specialists from the Russian center for reconciliation have taken part in working meetings with representatives of the local authorities in Damascus, Hama, Homs and Al-Quneitra provinces. Matters related to the cessation of hostilities and the solution of humanitarian problems have been discussed,” the report runs.


Russian military deliver 4 tons of humanitarian aid to Syria’s Ain al-Bad

The Russian military have delivered about four tons of humanitarian cargoes to the Syrian settlement of Ain al-Bad in the province of Hama, the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria said in a regular information bulletin on Tuesday.

“Over the past day, the Russia center for reconciliation has delivered four tons of humanitarian aid to the settlement of Ain al-Bad (the province of Hama). The humanitarian cargoes – food products and bottled water – were distributed among the local residents,” according to the bulletin posted on the Russian defense ministry’s official website.

Apart from that, according to the document, the Russian military are forming humanitarian convoys for the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus and Homs.

Issues related to humanitarian assistance to Syria were in focus of a working meeting between the Russian center’s specialists with representatives of the public organization Ministry of Regional Administration, the bulletin says.

Humanitarian issues were address at telephone talks between the command of the Russian and U.S. reconciliation centers. The sides discussed the humanitarian situation in the province of Damascus and exchanged information on ceasefire violations.

A ceasefire regime brokered by Russia and the United States on February 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on February 27. This does not cover terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both outlawed in Russia, and other groups recognized as terrorist by the United Nations Security Council.

An hour before the ceasefire came into force, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in support cessation of hostilities in Syria. The document was initiated by Russia and the United States and won support from all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council.

The Kremlin press service said late on Monday after a telephone conversation between Russian and Syrian Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad, that the two leaders agreed to withdraw the main part of Russia’s air group from that country as “the Russian Armed Forces had fulfilled the fundamental tasks, which had been assigned to them.” Russia however will keep an air flights control center in Syria to monitor the observation of the ceasefire regime, the Kremlin said. An order was issued to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu to begin troops pullout starting March 15.


Army General Command vows continued combating terrorism
15 March، 2016
Damascus, SANA

The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces vowed to continue military operations, in cooperation and coordination with the friends and allies, against terrorist organizations till restoring security and stability to all Syria.

The General Command added, in a statement, that it was natural that the Army Commands of Syria and Russia agree on decreasing the presence of Russian Armed Forces in Syria in commensuration with the newly developments following the big successes achieved by our Armed Forces, in the war against terrorism in cooperation with the friendly forces ahead of them those of the Russian Federation, with Syrian Army’s taking the lead in military initiatives in facing terrorist organizations, with the latest developments of widening local reconciliations, with cessation of fighting operations on some fronts and the fled of big numbers of terrorists.

The General Command hailed the “Honorable role” played and still being played by the friendly Russian Forces and their sacrifices in the war against terrorism, stressing the continuation of military operations with “firm and determination” against ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations and other affiliated terrorist organizations in cooperation and coordination with friends and allies and with the same previous pace till the complete elimination of such terrorist organizations and the restoration of security and stability to the whole country.

Barry/ Ghossoun


One civilian killed in ISIS landmine blast in southern Hasaka
15 March، 2016
Hasaka, SANA

One civilian was killed when a landmine of those left behind by ISIS went off in the southern countryside of the northeastern Hasaka province.

Local sources told SANA reporter that a blast of a landmine planted earlier by ISIS terrorists claimed the life of one person in Saeed village, located to the south of al-Shaddadi city.

M. al-Frieh/H. Said


ISIS terrorists target media team from Russia Today Channel in Hasaka
15 March، 2016
Hasaka, SANA

ISIS terrorists on Tuesday targeted a group of journalists near al-Shaddadi town in Hasaka northeastern province.

Media office of Russia Today Channel said that ISIS terrorists targeted with 6 mortar shells a media team from the channel near al-Shaddadi town to the south of Hasaka.

Some members of the cadre, who were filming a documentary in the area, got injured.

Terrorist organizations on Monday targeted journalists from the Russian channel in the countryside of Daraa.

R.Milhem / Ghossoun


Tens of families return to villages as recent Hama reconciliation comes into effect
15 March، 2016
Hama, SANA

The first stage of the local reconciliation agreement in the northeastern countryside of Hama province has begun.

Tens of locals started on Tuesday returning to their homes in al-Fan al-Shamali village.

“This is a step towards implementing the remaining stages of the reconciliation agreement reached recently,” said member of the Reconciliation Committee in Hama Ahmad al-Deiri in a statement to SANA.

The next stage will see families returning to a number of villages in the province’s eastern countryside, including Jneineh, Jneineh Gharbiyeh, Simaqiyeh, Huweijeh, al-Bireh and Qasr al-Mukharram, added al-Deiri.

He noted that people are able to go back to their normal lives.

The reconciliation agreement was reached during a meeting on March 7th that brought together senior tribes figures, Muslim and Christian scholars and local figures.

The reconciliation includes Souran area, Qalaat al-Mdeiq (Citadel) town and over 100 villages and farms in al-Hamraa area in the northeastern countryside of Hama.

H. Said


Turkish Artillery Shells Kurdish Base in Hasaka

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish Army’s artillery units targeted Kharzeh border base of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) near a border town in the Northern part of Hasaka province.

The Turkish artillery shelling of the Kurdish strongholds near the town of Amouda near border with Turkey inflicted heavy losses on the Kurdish fighters’ military equipment.

Informed sources announced on Monday that the Turkish army troops crossed the border line with Syria in Northeastern province of Hasaka and embarked on building a wall of separation along the border.

The Turkish officials and army men, backed by several Tanks and armored vehicles, entered the territories of the small town of Tal Halaf in the Western part of Ra’as al-Ein and launched construction operation of buffer wall at eight meters inside the Syrian territories.


Nusra Front Holds Over 40 People in Prison in Syria’s Northwest

Sputnik –Middle East

Terrorists of the Nusra Front extremist group forcibly hold more than 40 people in the prison of Abu Ed Duhur at Idlib province in Syria, according to the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Nusra Front terrorists forcibly hold over 40 people in a prison in the Syrian northwestern town of Abu Ed Duhur, the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation said in a bulletin published Tuesday.

“According to information obtained by the Russian reconciliation center from the local residents, militants of the Nusra Front [extremist] group forcibly hold more than 40 people in the prison of Abu Ed Duhur [Idlib province],” the bulletin published on the Russian Defense Ministry’s website read.


Anti-Daesh Coalition Launches Three Strikes in Syria Amid Russian Pullout

The US-led coalition against the Daesh terrorist group launched three airstrikes in Syria and 14 in Iraq, according to the US Central Command (CENTCOM).

WASHINGTON (Sputnik-Middle East) — The US-led coalition against the Daesh launched 3 airstrikes in Syria and 14 in Iraq on the terror group’s positions and infrastructure, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a press release on Tuesday.

The CENTCOM release was issued amid reports that Russia has begun withdrawing its air group from Syria after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Monday the pullout would begin the following day.

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the Islamic State, also known as Daesh, and the threat it poses, according to the release.

A spokesman for Central Command’s Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve told Sputnik earlier that US-led forces were aware of the withdrawal.

In Syria, three air attacks destroyed seven Daesh fighting positions near AL Hawl, the release said. In Iraq, the strikes focused on targets near Hit, Kirkuk, Mosul, Qayyarah and Ramadi.

Targets in Iraq, the release explained, included Islamic State mortar positions, tactical units, a heavy machine gun and three bomb factories.


Nearly 45,000 Terrorists Killed in Clashes with Army

TEHRAN (FNA)- Opposition groups confirmed in their social media that 44,992 terrorists have been killed in clashes with the Syrian Army and its allies during nearly five years of bloody crisis in the country.

“Nearly 45,000 members of the ISIL, al-Nusra Front, Ajnad al-Sham, Jund al-Aqsa, al-Hizb al-Turkistani, Janoud al-Sham al-Shishan and Kata’ebat al-Khadhra have thus far been killed in battles with the Syrian government forces across Syria,” the sources said.

Military analysts believe that the number of killed militants during war on terrorism in Syria is higher than the figure claimed by the opposition watch.


Syrian Army Winning Battles against ISIL West of Palmyra

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army and its popular allies continued to advance against the ISIL terrorists in the Western side of the city of Palmyra (Tadmur) in Homs province and seized one more key height in the region.

The Syrian army men backed by the Desert Hawks Brigade and Liwa Imam Ali (Iraqi paramilitary) continued their ground operations near Palmyra (Tadmur), striking several sites under the control of the ISIL.

The Syrian Armed Forces pushed the ISIL back from more positions and imposed full control over Height 853 in Jabal Hayyal after a violent battle with terrorists entrenched around these mountains.

Military sources said on Monday that the Syrian ground and air forces inflicted major casualties on the ISIL terrorists and significantly slowed down the militants’ logistic movements in Homs province.

“The Syrian army’s recent achievements in the Eastern part of Homs province near Palmyra are mainly indebted to the aerial coverage of the Syrian fighter jets and heavy shelling of the artillery units which have not left any chance for the ISIL to bring in fresh forces and arms and food supplies,” the sources said.


Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Wins Back More Strategic Regions Near Ancient Palmyra

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and its allies made a significant advanced against the ISIL terrorists in the Central province of Homs after seizing back more key areas in the vicinity of the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur).

Meantime, the Syrian army and popular forces continued their military advances in other parts of Syria, including Hama, Aleppo and Dara’a over past 24 hours.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured during the Syrian army’s operations in Syria’s key provinces.

Homs

The Syrian army continued its advances in Homs province, and destroyed the military positions and the gathering centers of the ISIL terrorist group, including their weapons cache in the ancient historical city of Palmyra (Tadmur).

The ISIL’s arms depot was razed down by the army soldiers in Palmyra city.

Scores of Takfiri terrorists were killed and wounded in the Syrian government troops’ attacks on their military positions in Palmyra city.

The Syrian ground and air forces have inflicted major casualties on the ISIL terrorists and significantly slowed down the militants’ logistic movements in Homs province.

“The Syrian army’s recent achievements in the Eastern part of Homs province near Palmyra are mainly indebted to the aerial coverage of the Syrian fighter jets and heavy shelling of the artillery units which have not left any chance for the ISIL to bring in fresh forces and arms and food supplies,” military sources on the ground said.

The Syrian army troops alongside the popular forces continued to smash the ISIL terrorists in the Eastern Homs province and pushed the militants back from more strongholds.

The ISIL Takfiri terrorists left behind several dead and several more wounded members and fled their positions in al-Maqateh region in the Western part of the ancient city of Palmyra.

Hama

The Syrian army inflicted heavy losses on the Takfiri terrorists in the Northern part of Hama province, destroying their military hardware and vehicles.

At least 10 armored and military vehicles of the ISIL terrorists were razed down by the army units in Um Haretin and Tal al-Za’atar regions of Maan town in Northern Hama.

The ISIL military vehicles were equipped with heavy machineguns and DshK.

Aleppo

A top militant commander was killed on Monday during clashes between terrorists and Syrian Kurdish fighters in a neighborhood in the Northern city of Aleppo, a local source said.

“The Thuwar al-Sham terrorist group’s field commander called Umar Sanda was eliminated as the terrorists tried to open their path into Sheikh Maqsoud district in the Northern areas of the city of Aleppo,” the well-informed source on the ground said.

Sheikh Maqsoud is a neighborhood in the city of Aleppo. The neighborhood is controlled by the Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units, YPG.

Dara’a

Gunmen from rival terrorist groups attacked and killed three senior militants of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Dara’a province on Monday.

A group of assailants gunned down Wael al-Alouch, Riyaz al-Lakoud and Hassan al-Dalal in the city of al-Harrah in Dara’a province.

Damascus

Terrorists of Al-Qaeda affiliated group, the al-Nusra Front, have been conducting attacks on the Syrian Army’s defenses at Jabal Waqa’at near the strategic town of Al-Tal in the last couple of days, resulting in a violent confrontation with pro-government troops, army sources said on Monday.

The Syrian Armed Forces repelled the al-Nusra attack, killing Eight militants before the group retreated towards the village of ‘Ayn Mineen in the western parts of Damascus province.

Deir Ezzur

The ISIL terrorist group sustained a heavy death toll after its positions in two neighborhoods of the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur came under attack by the Syrian army soldiers.

The Syrian army men stormed the ISIL concentration centers in the neighborhoods of al-Rasafeh and al-Sina’ah, which not only claimed the lives of several terrorists but inflicted serious damage on their military vehicles and equipment.


Iran to Continue Support for Syrian Nation

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in a meeting with Syrian Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Faisal Mikdad reiterated Tehran’s continued support for the Syrian people and government in their campaign on terrorism.

“Syrians are a resistant nation who have managed to leave behind critical conditions with resistance,” Larijani said in the meeting in Tehran on Tuesday.

Noting that the future path is bright for the Syrian nation, he said, “We hope that the resistance front can reach tranquility and security alongisde the Syrian nation as soon as possible and they should be sure that the Islamic Republic of Iran will always support them.”

Mikdad, for his part, referred to the ceasefire in Syria, and said, “We hope that the ceasefire will be the source of establishment of peace and tranquility in Syria and the Syrian people can decide their own future in full tranquility through elections.”

He also appreciated the Iranian officials and people’s support for the resistant Syrian people.

In relevant remarks in November, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi hailed Tehran’s support for the Damascus government and nation in their fight against the Takfiri terrorists.

“We thank the Iranian government and nation for their help to the Syrians in their fight against foreign-backed militants,” Halqi said in a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Syria Mohammad Reza Raouf Sheibani in Damascus.

The Syrian prime minister described Tehran-Damascus relations, and said, “Iran is playing a key role in restoration of regional stability.”

Halqi reiterated that Iran-Syria strategic relations helped the resistance pivot to foil the plots hatched by Israel and the US for the region.

The Iranian ambassador, for his part, reiterated Iran’s full support for Syrian government and nation in their ongoing fight against Takfiri terrorists.