Syrian Army Lead Successful Anti-Daesh Ops in Raqqa Despite US Assault

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops will not halt their operations against ISIL terrorists in Western Raqqa, despite the recent US attacks on a Syrian warplane near the key town of Resafa, army officers reiterated on Sunday.

The army captured the key town of Resafa in mid-June after fierce clashes with the terrorists in Western Raqqa, forcing a large number of terrorists to retreat from their positions towards deeper areas in the province, and preventing the Kurdish militants from moving towards the key energy zones from the direction of Southern al-Tabaqa, an army commander said.

“America’s aggression will not stop our mission and we (Syrian Army) will keep fighting terrorists as long as they are in Syria,” a military officer told AMN.

A Syrian fighter jet engaged in operations against the ISIL in Raqqa was downed by the US-led coalition warplane last Sunday.

Damascus confirmed the report on Sunday, stressing that the US-led coalition has shot down one of its bombers during a mission in Raqqa countryside.

According to the statement, the warplane was carrying out operations against ISIL in the countryside of Raqqa when it was targeted, leading to a crash and the loss of the pilot, who is currently missing.

“This attack comes at a time when the Syrian army and its allies are advancing in the fight against ISIS (ISIL or Daesh) terrorists who are being defeated in the Syrian desert in more ways than one,” the statement read.

The statement stressed that although such attacks seek to undermine the Syrian armed forces’ struggle against terrorism, they would not be deterred in fighting for stability and security in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The downing of the Syrian aircraft was confirmed by an official press statement from Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led international task force against ISIL, which accused the Damascus government of targeting fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces.

“At 6:43pm, a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters South of Tabaqa and, in accordance with rules of engagement and collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a US F/A-18E Super Hornet,” the statement read.

The statement stressed that its mission is to defeat ISIS (ISIL or Daesh) in Iraq and Syria and that the Coalition does not seek to “fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat.”

Russian Defense Ministry also said on Monday that Moscow was halting all interactions with Washington within the framework on the memorandum of incident prevention in Syrian skies.

The Defense Ministry added that Russian missile defense would intercept any aircraft in the area of operations of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria.

Washington and Moscow signed the bilateral memorandum of understanding in October 2015 to ensure the safety of flights during combat missions over Syria.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said during an off-camera gaggle on Monday that “Obviously, we’re going to do what we can to protect our interests.”

Spicer added that the “escalation of hostilities among the many factions that are operating in this region doesn’t help anybody” and they hope to de-escalate the situation by keeping lines of communication open with the Russians.

“We will always preserve the right of self-defense,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, a Pentagon Spokesperson said Monday that US pilots operating over Syria won’t hesitate to defend themselves from Russian threats.

“We do not seek conflict with any party in Syria other than ISIS, but we will not hesitate to defend ourselves or our partners if threatened,” Capt. Jeff Davis told Fox News.

Department of Defense Spokesperson Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway also said coalition aircraft would continue conducting “operations throughout Syria, targeting ISIL forces and providing air support for Coalition partner forces on the ground.”

“As a result of recent encounters involving pro-Syrian Regime and Russian forces, we have taken prudent measures to re-position aircraft over Syria so as to continue targeting ISIL while ensuring the safety of our aircrew given known threats in the battlespace,” Rankine-Galloway added in a statement.

It is not the first time that the US-led intervention in Syria has led to standoffs and violence against pro-government forces.

As Washington claims that it fights against the ISIL group, US warships fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from two warships in the Mediterranean Sea at the Shayrat airfield in Homs province on April 7, following a chemical weapons incident in Idlib province which the Western countries blamed on the Damascus government.

The Syrian government has fiercely denied using or even possessing chemical weapons since the country’s compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention was certified by international observers in 2013, as the world is still waiting for the US and its allies to provide any proof for its claims of Bashar al-Assad government involvement in the alleged chemical attack.

Also on May 18, the US-led coalition struck pro-Bashar Assad forces near al-Tanf in the area of an established de-confliction zone. The coalition air raids occurred near al-Tanf, where US’ and British special operations forces have been training militants near the border with Iraq and Jordan.

On June 6, the Pentagon announced the coalition conducted a new strike on pro-Syrian government forces as they entered the de-confliction zone with Russia and posed threat to its personnel. The force comprised of a tank, artillery, anti-aircraft weapons, armed technical vehicles and more than 60 soldiers. At least two Syrian servicemen were killed and more than 15 injured as a result of the attack.

On June 8, the US-led coalition bombed pro-Damascus forces near al-Tanf in the area of a de-confliction zone following an alleged attack by a combat drone resulting in no coalition forces’ casualties. This was the third attack by the coalition on Damascus’ allies in the area. The coalition targeted a drone and trucks with weapons.

Furthermore, on September 16, US-led coalition aircraft carried out four strikes against the Syrian Army near the Deir Ezzur airport, killing nearly 100 people.

Syrian Soldiers Make Fresh Gains along Hama-Raqqa Road

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army men continued their anti-ISIL operation along the road connecting Hama to Raqqa, driving terrorists out of one more key region along the road.

The army soldiers engaged in hours of heavy fighting with ISIL along Hama-Raqqa road in Southeastern Aleppo and imposed control over Tal Jaber region.

In the meantime, the army’s artillery and missile units opened heavy fire at ISIL’s positions in the battlefield, inflicting heavy casualties on the terrorists.

Relevant reports said on Saturday that the army soldiers kicked off a fresh round of operation in Western Raqqa to impose control over ISIL-held positions along the highway that connects Raqqa city to the town of Ithriya in Hama province.

The Syrian Army in the course of a special military operation in Western Raqqa hit ISIL’s positions along the Ithriya-Raqqa Highway, inflicting heavy losses on the Takfiri terrorist group, a field source said, adding that the pro-government forces were attempting to connect the Ithriya-Raqqa Highway from the town of Resafa in Western Raqqa to Ithriya in Eastern Hama.

According to field reports, should the Syrian forces recapture the entire terrorist-held positions along the Raqqa-Ithriya highway, the ISIL would be besieged from three directions in Khanasser plain in Southeastern Aleppo.

The army and popular forces also resumed military operations in Northeastern Hama, pounding ISIL’s positions near the town of Ithriya, liberating Al-Abjar Hill along the Hama-Raqqa provincial road.

The Damascus forces were trying to cleanse the Salamiyah-Raqqa Road, as they look to secure the pathway between the two towns of Ithriya and Resafa.

Syrian Air Force Pounding ISIL’s Supply Lines in 3 Provinces

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Air Force carried out a number of combat sorties over ISIL’s defense lines in the provinces of Homs, Hama and Raqqa, inflicting heavy losses on the terrorists.

The fighter jets bombed ISIL’s positions and supply lines Southeast of the town of al-Sukhnah in Eastern Homs, destroying several military vehicles and killing a number of terrorists.

The warplanes also targeted ISIL’s movements East of al-Tanahij hills in Eastern Hama, destroying their equipment and killing a number of terrorists.

In the meantime, the army aircraft raided ISIL’s strongholds and supply lines South of the village of Khirbet Zeidan and West of al-Alouj region in Western Raqqa, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

Relevant reports said on Saturday that the Syrian army in the course of a special military operation in Western Raqqa hit ISIL’s positions along the Ithriya-Raqqa Highway, inflicting heavy losses on the Takfiri terrorist group, a field source said, adding that the pro-government forces are attempting to connect the Ithriya-Raqqa Highway from the town of Resafa in Western Raqqa to Ithriya in Eastern Hama.

According to field reports, should the Syrian forces recapture the entire terrorist-held positions along the Raqqa-Ithriya highway, the ISIL will be besieged from three directions in Khanasser plain in Southeastern Aleppo.

The army and popular forces also resumed military operations in Northeastern Hama, pounding ISIL’s positions near the town of Ithriya, liberating Al-Abjar Hill along the Hama-Raqqa provincial road.

The Damascus forces are currently trying to cleanse the Salamiyah-Raqqa Road, as they look to secure the pathway between the two towns of Ithriya and Resafa.