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Tag "Syria"

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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UK POLITICS: 5 Year Old Syrian Girl Dies in ‘Concentration Camp’ Funded By UK Taxpayers

UK POLITICS: 5 Year Old Syrian Girl Dies in ‘Concentration Camp’ Funded By UK Taxpayers

“I crawled inside and the blankets on the floor were wet, it was so cold and dirty and damp,” Daliah, a volunteer and former protection team employee who visited the family, told RT UK.

“Their daughter had just died and they were left there. They had nothing. No visit from a psychiatrist. The mother was silent. They were in shock and the children were saying ‘my sister died – she died just here.’

“There was a volunteer there in tears. He told me they just pulled her out like a dog and took her away. There was no dignity.”

Following her “unexplained” death, her tiny body was buried without an Islamic funeral and without her mother being present.

“She became nothing but a number – she didn’t even get her last respect,” Daliah said.

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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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UK POLITICS: US Drone Kills British Jihadist Sally Jones

UK POLITICS: US Drone Kills British Jihadist Sally Jones

Sally Jones became known as the White Widow after her British jihadist husband Junaid Hussain was killed in a US drone strike in August 2015.

Following the death of Hussain, Sally Jones was reportedly placed in charge of the female wing of IS’ Anwar al-Awlaki batallion – a foreign fighter unit formed with the purpose of planning and executing attacks in the West.

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RUSSIA POLITICS: US Pretending to Fight Islamic State in Syria, Iraq: Russia Says

RUSSIA POLITICS: US Pretending to Fight Islamic State in Syria, Iraq: Russia Says

“The actions of the Pentagon and the coalition demand an explanation. Is their change of tack a desire to complicate as much as they can the Syrian army’s operation, backed by the Russian air force, to take back Syrian territory to the east of the Euphrates?,” asked Konashenkov.

“Or is it an artful move to drive Islamic State terrorists out of Iraq by forcing them into Syria and into the path of the Russian air force’s pinpoint bombing?”

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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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ALGERIA POLITICS: Algeria to Syria: Return to Arab League

ALGERIA POLITICS: Algeria to Syria: Return to Arab League

The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership in November 2011, citing alleged crackdown by Damascus on opposition protests. Syria has denounced the move as “illegal and a violation of the organization’s charter.”

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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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RUSSIA POLITICS: Pentagon Was Informed About Area of Russia’s Military Op in Deir ez-Zor in Advance: Moscow

RUSSIA POLITICS: Pentagon Was Informed About Area of Russia’s Military Op in Deir ez-Zor in Advance: Moscow

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said: “Over the past few days, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, Russian control and reconnaissance facilities have not identified a single combat of Islamic State terrorists with armed representatives of any ‘third force.’ Therefore, only representatives of the international coalition can answer the question as to how ‘opposition members’ or ‘military advisers of the international coalition’ managed to get to the IS-held areas in the eastern part of Deir ez-Zor without striking a blow.”

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SYRIA POLITICS: Russia, Iran, Turkey Agree on Idlib ‘Safe Zones’

SYRIA POLITICS: Russia, Iran, Turkey Agree on Idlib ‘Safe Zones’

In a joint statement after two days of talks in Kazakhstan, the three countries said on Friday that they had agreed “to allocate” their forces to patrol the zone covering Idlib province and parts of the neighboring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo regions.

“Observers from these three countries will be deployed at check and observation points in safe zones that form the borders of the de-escalation zone,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The main mission of these observers has been defined as the prevention of clashes between the government and the opposition forces and any violations of the truce,” it added.

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