US Continues Heliborne Operations to Evacuate ISIL Terrorists from Eastern Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- The military helicopters of the US-led coalition carried out the second heliborne operation in Southeastern Deir Ezzur in the last 48 hours to save senior commanders of the ISIL terrorist group and their family members amid rapid advances of the Syrian Army troops towards Deir Ezzur, an Arab media outlet reported on Saturday.

The Arabic-language al-Hadath news reported that the US-led coalition forces carried out another heliborne operation in Badiyeh (desert) of the town of Albu Leil in the Southeastern territories of Deir Ezzur, evacuating six families of the ISIL terrorists.

Al-Hadath further said that the family members of the commander of ISIL’s Hasaba (security-monitoring forces) Abu Khazimeh Maqrebi were among the evacuated families.

Al-Hadath pointed out that it was the US forces’ second heliborne operation in the last 48 hours in Albu Leil Badiyeh to take away terrorists.

In relevant developments in the province the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Friday that the US helicopters carried out two separate heliborne operations in Albu Leil region in Eastern Deir Ezzur and in a region near the Euphrates River, adding that one of the helicopters was observed 25km far from the town of Albu Leil flying in low altitude.

Based on the SOHR report, the helicopters landed possibly for evacuation of some people who were of significant importance to the US-led coalition.

The SOHR further added that the US helicopters targeted two residential units in one of the regions near the Euphrates River, adding that the residential units were reportedly used as ammunition depot.

The SOHR quoted locals as saying that ISIL and the US helicopters exchanged fire after the choppers targeted the residential units.

The SOHR reported that the fate of four ISIL fighters is not clear, adding that it is not clear if they were killed by the US forces or arrested.

The SOHR said that residents of the targeted units were non-Syrians.

The International Amnesty has warned that war against ISIL in Syria has made civilians face an awful condition in Raqqa city and the US coalition has thus far killed hundreds of people.

Al-Nusra Front Unites over 70 Gangs with More Than 25,000 Terrorists

TEHRAN (FNA)- The intelligence chief of Russia’s General Staff said that the Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at or the Levant Liberation Board) has united over 25,000 militants from 70 different terrorist groups to stand against the devastating advances of the Syrian Army and popular forces in the war-hit country.

“Currently, more than 70 gangs, including those from the ranks of the opposition, which used to consider themselves ‘moderates,’ have banded together. The total strength of the Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at exceeds 25,000 militants,” Col. Gen. Igor Korobov, the head of the Main Directorate of the Russian General Staff (the foreign military intelligence agency), said during a roundtable on Friday as part of the Army-2017 international military-technical forum, held in the Moscow Region.

The key role in the formation belongs to Al-Nusra, which is “engaged in active hostilities against the Syrian government forces and moderate opposition in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib and Hama,” he added.

Korobov said on Friday that around 9,000 terrorists of Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at or the Levant Liberation Board) are attempting to take control of the Syrian province of Idlib.

“The total number of Al-Nusra Front militants in Northwestern Idlib stands at 9,000 people. Currently, terrorists are trying to take control over the entire territory by intensifying combat actions against other opposition groups,” Korobov said at the Army-2017 forum.

Korobov noted that currently Al-Nusra is the second most powerful terrorist group in Syria. It includes more than 15,000 militants, most of whom are Syrians.

It was earlier reported that Nusra Front forces were actively regrouping in Northern Syria, trying to take over control of main border crossings with Turkey.

Syria has been mired in civil war since March 2011, with government forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups operating in the country, including Daesh (ISIL). Since September 30, Russia has been conducting an aerial campaign against terrorists in Syria at Assad’s request.

More Turkish Soldiers, Military Equipment Deployed in Northern Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish army has deployed a large number of forces and a large volume of military hardware in Northern Aleppo, news websites affiliated to terrorist groups reported on Saturday.

The pro-terrorist groups’ websites reported that Ankara has dispatched fresh forces and modern military equipment, including several military vehicles and tanks, to the town of Azaz in Northern Aleppo via the border town of Kilis in Southern Turkey.

Reports said earlier this month that the Turkish army dispatched more heavy military equipment to its borderline with Syria’s Afrin.

The reports said that the Turkish army dispatched a large volume of heavy military equipment to the border region with Syria’s Afrin North-West of Aleppo province that was controlled by the Kurdish fighters.

According to the report, the Turkish army’s Howitzer cannons and tanks entered Kilis region at border with Syria in a military column along with six trucks, adding that the cannons were to de deployed near Afrin region.

Sources in al-Shahba region in Northern Aleppo reported this month that a large cargo of light weapons and ammunition was sent through al-Ra’i border crossing towards the village of Sousian and then was transferred towards al-Bab region in Northern Aleppo.

The sources added that the cargo was delivered to several militant groups affiliated to Sultan Morad terrorist group.

Turkey sent its military into Syria in August last year to prop up local militias allied with Ankara against ISIL and Kurdish forces. The confrontation with Syrian Kurd militias, which Turkey considers an off-shoot of the Turkish-based militant movement Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), put Ankara at odds with the US.