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Tag "SYRIA POLITICS"

SYRIA POLITICS: SDF ‘Liberated’ Raqqah But Won’t Hand It to Syrian Government

SYRIA POLITICS: SDF ‘Liberated’ Raqqah But Won’t Hand It to Syrian Government

SDF spokesman Talal Silo has said the group would hand over the control of the city to what he called “the Raqqah Civil Council,” likely a Kurdish body. Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar reacted by saying that Raqqah’s future could only be discussed “as part of the final political structure of the Syrian state.”

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has, meanwhile, said that the SDF’s purported operations in Raqqah have killed civilians and damaged infrastructure in the city.

“When you’re killing around 1,200 civilians — nearly half of them women and children — and destroying 80 percent of the city, that’s not liberating Raqqah,” Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the SOHR, told Arab News daily.

The SDF is dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Syria Slams Trump for Refusal to Certify Iran’s Nuclear Deal

SYRIA POLITICS: Syria Slams Trump for Refusal to Certify Iran’s Nuclear Deal

Trump’s decertification of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was “unacceptable,” Syria’s state news agency, SANA, quoted an official source at the Arab country’s Foreign and Expatriates Ministry as saying in a statement on Sunday.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Syria Chemical Probe Seriously Flawed: Russia Says

SYRIA POLITICS: Syria Chemical Probe Seriously Flawed: Russia Says

“In order to judge if it deserves an extension of the mandate, we need to see the report to be issued on October 26 and assess it,” Mikhail Ulyanov, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s non-proliferation and arms control department said.

“I ask myself what is the reason for the extension of the mandate of this mechanism if it is not capable and is not willing to fulfill its mandate,” he added, noting, “We will wait for the report and then we will define our position.”

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SYRIA POLITICS: 92% of Syrian Territory Free From Daesh: Russian Daily

SYRIA POLITICS: 92% of Syrian Territory Free From Daesh: Russian Daily

Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military’s General Staff said that Russian jets hit 993 Daesh targets in the area of Dayr al-Zawr alone in 383 sorties over the past week. He also noted that the area under the control of Daesh has shrunk to 14,800 square kilometers (5,714 square miles), or less than 8 percent of Syrian territory.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Russian Sukhoi Su-24 War Plane Crashes, Crew Killed

SYRIA POLITICS: Russian Sukhoi Su-24 War Plane Crashes, Crew Killed

Russian Su-24 aircraft crashed Oct. 10 while taking off from the Hmeyimim airfield in Syria, according to a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry, Sputnik reported. The ministry said the crash killed all crew and could have been caused by a technical malfunction.

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SYRIA POLITICS: ISIS Warlords, Foreign Fighters Killed By Russian Airstrikes

SYRIA POLITICS: ISIS Warlords, Foreign Fighters Killed By Russian Airstrikes

“During the last day, [a] Russian Air Force task force in Syria [targeted] Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] reinforcements of foreign fighters coming from Iraq to the vicinity of the town of Abu Kamal near [the] Iraq-Syria border,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

As all terrorist targets, including command outposts, manpower and armored vehicles, were identified and confirmed within a week, a series of airstrikes followed, it added.

“An airstrike near Abu Kamal destroyed Islamists’ outpost, killing some 40 militants from Tajikistan and Iraq, as well as 7 SUVs with DShK and ZU-23-2 machine guns mounted on them,” the statement said.

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SYRIA POLITICS: No Where to Run, No Where to Hide: Russian Submarines Hit Terrorist Targets With Kalibr Cruise Missiles

SYRIA POLITICS: No Where to Run, No Where to Hide: Russian Submarines Hit Terrorist Targets With Kalibr Cruise Missiles

Before the missile strikes, Russian surveillance detected Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) targets in Deir-ez-Zor province, including command centers, large ammunition depots and hangars housing terrorists’ armored vehicles, the ministry added.

“To hit these targets, Velikiy Novgorod and Kolpino submarines of the Black Sea Fleet have performed two multiple launches of Kalibr cruise missiles from the Mediterranean,” the spokesman said.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Abu Mohammad al-Julani in Coma After Hit By Russian Surgical Strike in Syria: MOD

SYRIA POLITICS: Abu Mohammad al-Julani in Coma After Hit By Russian Surgical Strike in Syria: MOD

The bombing, which led to Al-Julani’s injuries, caused chaos among Tahrir al-Sham members, according to the Russian military. After the field commanders of the “eastern sector” of Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front) in Idlib province gathered to work out further plans, the Su-34 precision airstrike killed 49 militants, including seven leaders.

The airstrike also destroyed a nearby “ammunition and explosives depot and six SUVs with large-caliber weapons,” Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the defense ministry, said.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Tahrir al-Sham Leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani Gravely Injured By Russian Airstrike: Russian MoD

SYRIA POLITICS: Tahrir al-Sham Leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani Gravely Injured By Russian Airstrike: Russian MoD

Julani “sustained shrapnel wounds and is in a critical condition after losing his arm, according to information from multiple independent sources,” the ministry’s spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said.

“Terrorist organizations Islamic State and Al-Nusra have sustained their most serious losses for the last several months,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said said.

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SYRIA POLITICS: 2,000+ ISIS, Al-Nusra Terrorists Killed By Russian Air Strikes in 11 Days: Military (VIDEO)

SYRIA POLITICS: 2,000+ ISIS, Al-Nusra Terrorists Killed By Russian Air Strikes in 11 Days: Military (VIDEO)

“With help from the Russian Air Force, the Syrian army is currently completing the encirclement and destruction of a large Islamic State force, numbering about 1,500 fighters, which invaded from Iraq, in the eastern part of Deir ez-Zor,” said the ministry.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Russian Cruise Missiles Target Daesh Positions in Syria

SYRIA POLITICS: Russian Cruise Missiles Target Daesh Positions in Syria

“The sudden strikes destroyed a number of terrorist command posts, fortifications, military hardware as well as ammunition depots,” Konashenkov said in a statement.

The senior Russian military official went on to say that all destroyed targets were far away from residential areas, the positions of the US-backed militiamen from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, and US troops.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Russian MoD Aerial Footage Shows US Troops Present in Daesh-Held Areas in Syria

SYRIA POLITICS: Russian MoD Aerial Footage Shows US Troops Present in Daesh-Held Areas in Syria

“No explanations or refutations on the issue from the representatives of the SDF or the US Armed Forces followed ,” Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman Mj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

The photos in question show US Hummer armored vehicles that are used by the US Army’s special forces in the Deir ez-Zor area. The Defense ministry said the footage clearly showed that the units of US Army’s special forces were deployed in the footholds previously set up by Daesh militants.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Russia Says Will Target US-Backed Fighters in Syria if Provoked

SYRIA POLITICS: Russia Says Will Target US-Backed Fighters in Syria if Provoked

The Russian Defence Ministry said the SDF had taken up positions on the eastern banks of the Euphrates with U.S. special forces, and had twice opened fire with mortars and artillery on Syrian troops who were working alongside Russian special forces.

“A representative of the U.S. military command in Al Udeid (the U.S. operations centre in Qatar) was told in no uncertain terms that any attempts to open fire from areas where SDF fighters are located would be quickly shut down,” Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

“Fire points in those areas will be immediately suppressed with all military means.”

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SYRIA POLITICS: As Assad Cements Victories, UK, US Say Will Rebuild Syria

SYRIA POLITICS: As Assad Cements Victories, UK, US Say Will Rebuild Syria

“We believe that the only way forward is to get a political process going and to make it clear to the Iranians, Russians and Assad regime that we, the like-minded group, will not support the reconstruction of Syria until there is such a political process and that means, as Resolution 2254 says, to a transition away from Assad,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said, referring to a resolution adopted at the UN Security Council in 2015.

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SYRIA POLITICS: 85% of Syria Liberated By Syrian Troops: Russian MoD

SYRIA POLITICS: 85% of Syria Liberated By Syrian Troops: Russian MoD

Lieutenant General Aleksandr Lapin, Russian chief of staff in Syria, told reporters at Khmeimim air base that the Syrian forces will now have to liberate the remaining 15 percent, around 27,000 square kilometers.

“Currently the operation to free the city is ongoing. The Syrian military will soon finish off the IS forces that used to occupy the city’s neighborhoods,” the Lieutenant General said in a briefing.

The blockade of Deir ez-Zor was broken on September 5 by Syrian forces, after three years of IS control of the city.

“The command posts and communication networks of the terrorists were destroyed by Kalibr cruise missiles, launched from the Black Sea escort vessel ‘Admiral Essen’. This disrupted control of IS units in the area. Over 450 terrorists, 5 tanks and 42 pickups with heavy machine guns were liquidated during the operation,” the Lieutenant General added.

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SYRIA POLITICS: US Forces Better Leave Syria on their Own: Syrian Deputy FM

SYRIA POLITICS: US Forces Better Leave Syria on their Own: Syrian Deputy FM

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad said the presence of any foreign forces in Syria would be unacceptable. Mekdad referred to ongoing operations by the Syrian military and its allies to free the province of Dayr al-Zawr from Daesh terrorists and said the Dayr al-Zawr battle was the last major battle in Syria. What remained, he said, were small, minor battles.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Israel Hits Syria Target Reportedly Tied to Chemical Weapons: Syrian Army

SYRIA POLITICS: Israel Hits Syria Target Reportedly Tied to Chemical Weapons: Syrian Army

The Observatory reported a total of seven people killed and wounded in the strike. Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, said the reported attack was not routine and targeted a Syrian military scientific centre.

“The factory that was targeted in Masyaf produces the chemical weapons and barrel bombs that have killed thousands of Syrian civilians,” Yadlin said in a tweet.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Government Forces Used Chemical Weapons More than Two Dozen Times: UN

SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Government Forces Used Chemical Weapons More than Two Dozen Times: UN

“Government forces continued the pattern of using chemical weapons against civilians in opposition-held areas. In the gravest incident, the Syrian air force used sarin in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib, killing dozens, the majority of whom were women and children,” the U.N. report said, declaring the attack a war crime.

The Assad government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons. It said its strikes in Khan Sheikhoun hit a weapons depot belonging to rebel forces, a claim dismissed by the U.N. investigators.

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SYRIA POLITICS: ‘Unacceptable Price for Civilians’: UN Says US-Led Coalition Airstrikes May Breach International Law

SYRIA POLITICS: ‘Unacceptable Price for Civilians’: UN Says US-Led Coalition Airstrikes May Breach International Law

“Given the extremely high number of reports of civilian casualties this month and the intensity of the air strikes on Raqqa, coupled with ISIL’s use of civilians as human shields, I am deeply concerned that civilians – who should be protected at all times – are paying an unacceptable price and that forces involved in battling ISIL are losing sight of the ultimate goal of this battle,” Zeid said in a statement on Thursday.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Army Crushing Terrorists: Assad

SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Army Crushing Terrorists: Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says, “We have managed to foil the Western project. West is like a chameleon due to its behavior to fit different situations. The psychological war against the Damascus government has failed to discourage us from fighting terrorism or even frighten us… We have fought terror since day one, and we will continue to fight it until there is no terrorist in Syria…”

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