Report of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic (March 19, 2016)
General information on the application of measures for the reconciliation of opposing sides
Preliminary ceasefire agreements have been achieved with elders of an inhabited area of the Damascus province.
Negotiations with administration and public representatives of 3 towns of the Idlib and Homs provinces have been held. Issues concerning ceasefire regime joining and returning to peaceful life have been discussed.
The total number of settlements, the leaders of which have signed reconciliation agreements, has remained the same – 51.
The number of ceasefire application forms signed with leaders of armed groupings has remained 43.
Results of ceasefire monitoring
In general, the ceasefire regime is observed. Ceasefire violations with usage of heavy armament have not been registered.
In the Homs province, militants of Liwa al-Haqq and Ahrar al-Sham carried out two shelling attacks against checkpoints of the government troops. As the result, the Syrian serviceman was killed. The government troops did not open fire in respond.
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
In the course of last 24 hours, the Russian Centre for reconciliation has delivered more than 2 tons of humanitarian aid to Harasta (Damascus province). Another humanitarian convoy to the Homs province is being formed.
The Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides has held consultations with representatives of the National Reconciliation Ministry of Syria. The parties discussed issues concerning interaction in providing humanitarian aid to citizens of towns, which had joined the truce process.
Russian-American consultations have been held in the US Coordination Centre (Amman, Jordan).
The sides discussed issues concerning ceasefire observing in the Syrian Arab Republic and providing humanitarian aid to most damaged regions of the Damascus province.
‘Extensive Movement of Jihadists at Syria-Turkey Border’ Aided by Ankara
The Turkish government facilitates the movement of jihadists between Syria and Turkey, according to a report by a Turkish organization “Right to life, against war”. It reflects the situation in the province of Hatay which is on the border with Syria.
The report suggests that the border area has become a hub for jihadists from various nationalities: on the border al-Nusra Front has a strong hold and inside the city Daesh has its command.
Despite the fact that a lot of time has passed since the terrorist attack on May 11, 2013, in the town of Reyhanlı of the Hatay province, the region’s population still lives in fear that the explosions may take place again.
In the city the Arabs, Alawites and Christians are subjected to severe harassment. Sunnis are being provoked, using provocative rhetoric. Stagnation of the economy, high unemployment, low wages and a complete lack of stability all of this has become chronic, becoming an integral part of realities of life in Hatay.
Local residents have abandoned the settlements of Reyhanli, Altinozu and Yayladagi. There are training camps of extremists of Ahrar al-Sham and al-Nusra Front in those areas now.
Ali Ergin Demirhan, the group coordinator responsible for drafting the report “Right to life, against war” spoke to Sputnik in an interview about the grim situation in Hatay.
“The militants are moved to camps in Hatay, or to the cities like Kilis, Konya, Kayseri, and Adana where they are trained. The movement takes place in various forms under the guise of refugees, or in the form of a military convoy. According to available information, which was leaked to the press, but which we cannot independently verify (and Turkish leaders have not officially refuted it), about 2 thousand jihadists have crossed the Turkish border in the area on the frontier point of Cilvegözü, from where they reached Kilis, where they got heavy weapons and returned to Azaz in Syria. All of this took place under the supervision of the state.”
The report emphasizes that after the aerial bombing of terrorist positions by the Russian Aerospace Forces the access route to Azaz-Antep was blocked so the militants had to relocate with the number of jihadists coming to Hatay rising.
Ali Demirhan recalled that after the Turkish military strengthened the border controls, jihadists launched a series of attacks on border posts. In particular, at Güveççi there was a case when one soldier at a checkpoint was attacked and his throat was cut.
“Events at the border posts in the region usually have a similar scenario. The soldiers stop suspicious persons who intend to cross the border without a vehicle inspection. They want to check their documents, but do not manage to, because very quickly gendarmes arrive at the spot and transfer the vigilant soldiers to other duty stations,” the author said.
He further said, “A large number of jihadists and weapons go across the border in wagons, buses and humanitarian non-governmental organizations cars. At the border sometimes they are not examined at all, confining only to a protocol note. In February, especially, there was a saturated movement of such vehicles through the border posts on the Turkish-Syrian border.”
According to data cited in the report, at the end of 2015 in the area of Bayır Bucak due to frequent clashes the border controls were eased and large number of Turkmen refugees flooded the territory of Hatay. However, as it turned out, about 80 percent of the refugees who came under the guise of peaceful Turkmen became the militants coming from Central Asia, North Africa and the Caucasus.
Demirhan emphasized that jihadists who crossed the border in that way, found themselves in Turkey, where they received identity cards. “Any person who arrives from Syria in order to receive temporary identity documents does not have to be a Syrian citizen. Anyone who is not Syrian is issued with a temporary document.”
This provides a kind of protection for those who arrive from Syria. Arriving in Turkey, they fall into the category of victims, than they are transported to humanitarian non-governmental organizations under the guise or employees of the organization or are treated like victims who are sent back to the refugee camp.
There is also information provided in the report, that in an old hostel building situated in Anayazi, there are Daesh members who are waiting to be shipped to third countries. According to Demirhan, this information has been confirmed by various sources, but the administration of Hatay has not made any official statement on the matter.
“They are called foreign terrorists as they can no longer remain in Turkey, but also cannot go back to Syria. Therefore, they are sent to fight in other countries, such as North Africa or certain Asian countries.”
Demirhan emphasized that jihadists in Hatay can demonstrate that they belong to one or another terrorist group completely freely. “In the city and surrounding villages it is possible to meet people in clothes, cars with symbols of Daesh or al-Nusra Front. This is not uncommon. You can even see the picture, when just behind the police car there is a traveling vehicle with the logo of Daesh.”
“The government is using this situation to their advantage. This is possible due to the fact that the authorities force the people of the region to remain silent by either harassment, threats and violations of their legal rights.
The author of the report said that the country’s leadership could bring an end to all this mayhem, if they wanted to. A large number of security forces and intelligence is located in the province. Recently about 40 activists tried to organize a protest in the city so for their dispersion, local authorities mobilized a whole army of military police.
The government is aware of all the crossing points of insurgents across the border and the camps in which they are trained,” Demirhan said.
SyAAF Attach bombers raided number of ISIS targets in al-Raq`a earlier today.
Most of the targets were buildings used as command centers for ISIS and included:
• Ali Mousa al-Shawakh, ISIS Raq`a and Sham Governor palace in al-Sahel countryside.
• Residence of ISIS terrorist Fawaz al-Kurdi (aka Abo-Ali al-Shar`ee) in al-Fardous neighborhood, near the Obstetrics Hospital in the city.
• Ibraheem al-Shawakh’s Palace (the real on the ground commander of ISIS).
• A villa used by by an ISIS terrorists code name “Abo Farah” The Emir of ISIS checkpoints, located just near the northern side of al-Nawawi mosque.
• The secret security office of ISIS in al-Raq`a.
And number of more ISIS locations.
One of the most notable confirmed kills by SyAAF intelligence Operatives on the ground is Fawaz al-Kurdi, there were plans to capture this terrorist alive but things were ultered due to the necessity, and variables of the situations. This terrorists is personally responsible for hundreds of ISIS executions in al-Raq`a.
The army establishes control over a series of heights in Homs, kills more terrorists in Deir Ezzor and Sweida
19 March، 2016
The Syrian Arab Army established control over a number of mountains and strategic hills in the southeastern countryside of Homs province, eliminating a number of ISIS terrorists and destroying their vehicles, in addition to killing a number of terrorists in Deir Ezzor and Sweida provinces.
Sources on the ground told SANA that army units, aided by supporting forces, established control over each of the heights of Heit, Rashid, Rawasi al-Tawal, Kurdi and Rawabi al-Tahin, in addition to Jbeil Mountain that overlooks al-Qaryatain city in the southeastern countryside of Homs province.
Taking control of these heights followed fierce clashes with ISIS terrorists that ended up in eliminating all of their hideouts and killing dozens of them, while the remaining terrorists fled eastward into al-Badiya (desert), according to the sources.
Afterwards, the army engineering units dismantled and removed all the mines and explosive devices which the terrorists had planted to hinder the army’s advance in the area.
Later, in a statement to journalists from Jbeil Mountain, the general in command of the Third Division said that the army established control over the aforementioned heights after eliminating the last remaining concentrations of ISIS in the area, destroying several heavy machinegun-equipped vehicles, 3 tanks, 2 bulldozers rigged with explosives, and 12 vehicles equipped with armor-piercing machineguns.
The commander added that the army seized a solar-powered satellite broadcasting station at Jbeil Mountain and uncovered bases bearing the emblem of ISIS, in addition to seizing a number of tanks rigged with explosives and vehicles equipped with assorted machineguns.
He explained that by establishing control over these strategic heights, the army cut off ISIS supply lines and isolated al-Qaryatain city from the desert, which will serve as a springboard leading to restoring security and stability to al-Qaryatain and Palmyra (Tadmur).
On a relevant note, sources on the ground said that a number of ISIS terrorists were killed and a tank they had been using was destroyed in clashes with army units on the direction of Rawabi al-Tahin and Mahasseh to the south of Mhein town in the province.
In the meantime, media sources stated that Taha al-Dandashi, an ISIS terrorist who is nicknamed Abu Mohammad of Lebanon, was killed during army operations in the surroundings of Palmyra city.
A guided missile fired by an army unit targeted ISIS terrorists at al-Taim oil field site in southern Deir Ezzor.
According to source on the ground, the missile destroyed a bulldozer while involved in setting up barriers and fortifications near the Electricity Company in the area.
Another army unit hit a gathering of ISIS terrorists, destroying one of their vehicles, in al-Bugheiliyeh village, northwest of Deir Ezzor city.
An army unit destroyed a gathering of vehicles for ISIS terrorists to the north east of al-Qasr village in Sweida countryside.
H. Said / Hazem Sabbagh
Syrian Airstrikes Continue over Raqqa
TEHRAN (FNA)- Informed sources reported death of several ISIL top leaders and executives during the Syrian strikers’ latest raids on the terrorist group structures across the stronghold city of Raqqa, Northeastern Syria, on Saturday.
A source on the ground said ISIL’s top judge, Fawaz Muhammed al-Muhsin al-Kurdi (also known as Abu Ali al-Shar’ei) was killed when the Syrian Air force fighter jets bombed ISIL structures in Firdows district in the city of Raqqa.
The reports also informed of the death of ISIL’s self-proclaimed Raqqa governor, Abu Luqman, alongside his uncle, Ibrahim al-Shawwakh who was deemed as one of most senior ISIL leaders, in a high-precision airstrike over al-Sahl district of Raqqa.
The reports come as military sources said tens of terrorists are fleeing the battlefields Eastward from Palmyra toward ISIL’s stronghold city of Raqqa as Syrian army troops alongside popular forces continue to smash the terrorists in the Eastern parts of Homs province.
The news about the death of ISIL leader was released as the Syrian army and popular forces are making significant advances in Eastern Syria.
Syrian Army Sweeping Across Deir Ezzur Province
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian air force and artillery units, in a series of intensive attacks, pounded the ISIL militants’ positions in Deir Ezzur province, eliminating tens of terrorists and inflicting damage on them, a military source said on Saturday.
“The ISIL positions in two districts of al-Hwaiqa and al-Ummal were razed as Syrian fighter jets pounded the military positions and gathering centers of the ISIL in the city of Deir Ezzur and village of al-Hatla in the Eastern parts of the province, which also resulted in the destruction of the terrorist group’s equipment and vehicles,” the battlefield source said.
The Syrian army also hit several ISIL gatherings in Burj al-Mustafa, inflicting heavy casualties on them.
Also on Saturday, the Syrian artillery units pounded a power plant in al-Thayyem oilfield, causing rather heavy casualties among the terrorists in the region.
In a related development in Deir Ezzur province, the Syrian artillery units managed to track and destroy an ISIL military vehicle in Tal al-Mahrouqat area in the village of Baqaliyeh, destroying terrorists’ military hardware and annihilating some of them.
On Friday, the Syrian air force in a high-precision strike targeted and destroyed a mortar launch pad used by the ISIL terrorist group in Deir Ezzur.
The Syrian fighter jets struck the ISIL gathering centers and lines of defense near al-Jafra region on Friday, which ended in the destruction of a mortar platform.
The Syrian army and its popular allies are now readying for the final battle against the ISIL terrorists over al-Shoula region after capturing the key oil-rich region of al-Thayyem in the Southeastern province of Deir Ezzur.
Liberation of al-Shoula region will lead to the reopening of Homs-Damascus road and winning back Deir Ezzur city from the terrorists completely.
Al-Nusra Attack Repelled by Syrian Army in Hama Province
TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army forces and their popular allies pushed back the al-Nusra terrorists in areas near the key city of Salamiyah in the Northern province of Hama and killed a number of militants, a military source said on Saturday.
“The al-Nusra militants in an attempt to capture the key points of al-Rabi’ah near Tal al-Dara village, on the Western outskirt of Salamiyah, attacked the army troop’s positions in the region, but the army fended off the attack after killing several terrorists,” the source said.
The source added that the army forces destroyed several militants’ heavily-armed pick-up trucks and defused some explosive devices left by the militants in the region.
Earlier on Saturday, the Syrian army fighter jets pounded terrorist groups positions in different parts of Hama province, destroying their vehicles and equipment and killing tens of terrorists.
“Two vehicles equipped with 23.5-mm machine guns and a vehicle carrying terrorists in al-Zayara and Tal Wasit region in Hama were destroyed,” military sources said on Saturday, adding that 11 terrorists were killed and 19 others were injured in the Syrian army offensive.
Also, the Syrian army’s airstrikes on Jund al-Aqsa terrorist group’s gathering centers in Kafr Nabouda, Northern Hama, destroyed their underground arms depot and an armored vehicle.
Al-Nusra Terrorists Decimated by Syrian Airstrikes in Eastern Ghouta
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian air force pounded the al-Nusra militants’ positions in Eastern Ghouta ,Damascus province, inflicting a number of casualties on the terrorists, a military source said on Saturday.
“The Syrian fighter jets pounded the military positions and gathering centers of the al-Nusra terrorists in al-Marj region in Eastern Ghouta, which resulted in the destruction of the terrorists’ military grid,” the battlefield source said.
The Syrian air force has intensified its air raids on militants’ strongholds across Ghouta region inflicting growing loss and damage on the terrorists.
Earlier this week, the Syrian government forces detected and destroyed a tunnel used by the militants in Ghouta.
“The tunnel had connected the militant groups’ position to a hospital,” army sources said.
Elsewhere, the Syrian army inflicted major casualties on the ISIL terrorists near key Tishrin power plant South of Damascus province.
The Syrian Army shelled an ISIL terrorists gathering in al-Ghyath region located in areas south of Tishrin thermal power plant in Southern Damascus province, leaving a number of terrorists dead or injured.
The source added that the operation, conducted after the Syrian army was tipped off by intelligence forces active in the area, delivered another crushing blow to the terrorists in the Damascus province.