30 Intelligence Officers Including Israelis Killed in Russia Missile Attack in Aleppo

FILE: 30 Foreign Intelligence Officers Including Israelis Killed in Russia Missile Attack

FILE: 30 Foreign Intelligence Officers Including Israelis Killed in Russia Missile Attack

The Russian warships in Syria’s coastal waters targeted and destroyed a foreign military operations room in Dar Ezza region in the Western part of Aleppo near Saman mountain, killing over two dozen Israeli and western intelligence officers.

Several US, Turkish, Saudi, Qatari and British officers were also killed along with the Israeli officers.

The foreign officers who were killed in the Aleppo operations room were directing the terrorists’ attacks in Aleppo and Idlib.

“The Russian warships fired three Caliber missiles at the foreign officers’ coordination operations room in Dar Ezza region in the Western part of Aleppo near Saman mountain, killing 30 Israeli and western officers,” Sputnik quoted military source in Aleppo as saying on Wednesday.

The operations room was located in the Western part of Aleppo province in the middle of sky-high Saman Mountain and old caves. The region is deep into a chain of mountains, FNA reports.

Earlier in September, the Syrian army units launched a preemptive strike on the terrorists of the so-called Aleppo Operations Room in their gathering centers near Castello road in the Northern areas of Aleppo and Mallah farms, foiling their plots to attack the region’s supply route, a source said.

The source said that the army’s artillery units attacked the terrorists’ gathering centers near Castello and Mallah farms in Zahra Abdo Rabbah, Kafar Hamra and Hurayatyn which killed and wounded dozens of militants.

Also, the Syrian air force attacked the terrorists’ supply route in Northern Aleppo towards Hayyan and Adnan as well as the supply roads in Western Aleppo towards the North and smashed the terrorists’ convoys in al-Aratab, Urom Kobra and Maara al-Artiq which thwarted the terrorists’ plots and forced many of them flee towards the Turkish borders.

Informed media sources disclosed earlier that the Syrian army has continued its advances in the Southern part of Aleppo, and regained control over several strategic areas in the town of Khan Touman.

“A number of key warehouses of Khan Touman are now under the Syrian army’s control,”, FNA reports.

The source noted that the Syrian air force and army’s artillery units also targeted the gathering centers and fortifications of the terrorists in Khan Touman.

(Source / 21.09.2016)

New rebel group formed in Idlib

Three major rebel factions from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have formed a new joint group called the “Free Idlib Army.”

The Free Idlib Army is comprised of fighters from the Free Syrian Army’s “Division 13”, “Suqour Al-Jabal”, and the “Northern Division.”

This new rebel group will be backed by the U.S. and they will be eligible to receive the anti-tank TOW missiles because of their “moderate” status.

The factions that formed the Free Idlib Army were allied with jihadist rebel groups like Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front) and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’ however, this does not appear to be an issue for the U.S.

Captain Hassan Hajj ‘Ali will be the commander of the Free Idlib Army, per Syrian opposition activists.

(Source / 20.09.2016)

Syrian Coalition Holds Russia Directly Responsibility for Collapse of Truce

The Syrian Coalition condemned the bombing of aid convoy by Russian and Assad regime’s jet fighters on Monday afternoon. The aid convoy, consisting of about 20 trucks belonging to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), was directly hit while travelling by the town of Urum Alkobra in rural Aleppo. The attack on the aid convoy left many casualties among civilians and SARC staffers as well as destroyed a number of the trucks.

The Syrian Coalition held Russia fully and directly responsible for this heinous crime and for undermining the cessation of hostilities agreement (CoH). It also held Russia fully responsible for all violations that have taken place since the agreement took effect last week.

Russia and the Assad regime violated the truce no fewer than 264 times. Over 65 people have been killed as a result of these violations.

The Coalition said that this crime “comes as a clear declaration by Russia and the Assad regime of their total rejection of all peaceful solutions. It demonstrates that they are determined to carry on with the killings and destruction.”

“This crime also exposes the inaction of the international community and its failure to shoulder its responsibilities to put an end to the barbaric war waged for over five years against the Syrian people who have risen up to reclaim their rights to freedom, dignity and justice,” the Coalition added.

The Coalition stressed that “this crime, along with other crimes by the Assad regime and its allies, will fail to weaken the will of the Syrian people to achieve victory. On the contrary, it will bolster their determination to achieve their goals.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 20.09.2016)

Syria Solidarity Movement Statement on the US Attack against the Syrian Army at Deir ez-Zour

The Syria Solidarity Movement unequivocally condemns and denounces the vicious US bombing attack on the Syrian army defending Deir ez-Zour, and we wish to make the following observations.

  1. The attack killed at least 62 Syrian soldiers and wounded more than 100.  This is larger than the number of casualties inflicted in any US bombing on any terrorist target in Syria since the US announced its “war on ISIS”.
  2. The bombing inflicted no known casualties on ISIS, which the US says was its intended target.
  3. The US has produced no evidence that it notified its Russian counterparts, as required by agreement. In fact, joint action against ISIS was not expected for another two days.  This leads to suspicions that the US attack was intended to preempt the provisions of the agreement.
  4. Syrian soldiers report seeing reconnaissance drones the previous day.
  5. ISIS fighters were poised to begin fighting the Syrian army units as soon as the US bombing raids ended.  How did they know what constituted the end of the  bombing?
  6. Although the Russian military presence in Syria is legal because it came at the invitation of the sovereign Syrian state, the US presence is illegal and was never approved, either by the Syrian government or by the United Nations.  All US military actions in Syria therefore constitute an illegal invasion of Syrian territory, and must end now.

We find the US explanation of “unintended” targets, and especially the belligerent performance of Ambassador Samantha Power at the United Nations Security Council, to be false, disingenuous and counterproductive. The only credible explanation is that the US attack on Deir ez-Zour was intentional. The US has never seriously tried to fight ISIS other than to defend Kurdish fighters, with rare and largely ineffectual attacks against ISIS fighters in their strongholds, and none during the ISIS campaign against Palmyra, when they were very vulnerable by air.

We believe that the US intention is to dismember the sovereign Syrian state, and that the Syrian army base at Deir ez-Zour constitutes an obstacle to this plan, and is therefore a US target.  In accordance with this plan, the US does not mind if ISIS continues to occupy a large portion of the Syrian Euphrates valley, and in fact prefers to maintain ISIS as a destructive force that weakens Syria and is available as a proxy fighting force for other US regional designs, in partnership with their Israeli allies.

We are doubtful that the US intends to honor its agreement with Russia, and implicitly with Syria.  US strategists are seeking to weaken and threaten Russia and not to form cooperative and mutually beneficial agreements.  Accordingly, the only option may unfortunately be to make the cost to the US too high to be acceptable, and thereby to force a change in its priorities.

There is another and more constructive alternative, as follows.

  1. The US should immediately issue a formal apology to the government of Syria and offer restitution for damages, both to the Syrian government and to the families of the dead and wounded.
  2. The US should withdraw completely from all Syrian territory and end its support for all fighting forces there.
  3. The US should enforce its end user agreements on the use of its arms supplied to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other countries, to prevent their use in non-defensive roles outside their territories, and in particular to prevent supplying them to subversive forces in Syria.
  4. The US should use its influence in international banking and commerce to prevent the transfer of funds to terrorist forces in Syria and to prevent illegal trafficking by terrorists of oil and other Syrian assets from terrorist-held territory.
  5. The US should try to develop a new and cooperative relationship with Russia, and to stop threatening Russia through its subversive actions in Syria, Ukraine and other places, including the stationing of bases and troops in countries on Russia’s borders.  The US should end its commercial and financial sanctions against Russia and Syria.
  6. The US needs to take action to end the internal bickering within its own government.  International diplomacy is impossible when agreements negotiated by diplomats are undermined by other governmental agencies.  Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and other US government figures should be fired for insubordination and replaced with figures that allow the administration to speak with a single voice and so that negotiated agreements can be assured of implementation.

The Syria Solidarity Movement advocates respect for and compliance with all international law, prosecution of international outlaws, an end to attempts to strengthen one country by destroying others, the use of diplomacy to settle international disputes, and the development of peaceful and constructive relationships among all nations.  We hold these goals to be of the utmost priority at the present moment because, given the level of escalation to which the USA has pushed a confrontation with Russia (and China) over Syria, Ukraine, and the South China Sea, the threat to world peace has never been higher since 1939.

(Source / 20.09.2016)

Syrian Coalition & Rebel Groups Warn Truce Is over Should Regime Carries on with its Forced Mass Displacement Policy

The military and political forces of the Syrian revolution announced total rejection of the Assad regime’s continued attempts to forcefully displace the residents of the district of Alwaer in Homs, Mouadamiya and Madaya in rural Damascus. They warned the United Nations against mediating or supervising any evacuation deals similar to the one that was reached in the Damascus suburb of Daraya.

In a joint statement released on Sunday, the Syrian Coalition as well as FSA and rebel groups stressed that “all besieged areas are red lines for the Syrian people and that we would not allow any ceasefire or political negotiations to be used by the Assad regime to slowly carve up and conquer these areas.”

The statement warned that should the regime continues military operations “to terrorize and psychologically pressure civilians into leaving Alwaer district or any other besieged area, or if a single individual is expelled from Alwaer or any other besieged area, then the regime will have ended its adherence to any proposed ceasefire in a glaring fashion.” It stressed that “all revolutionary armed groups will resume exercising their legitimate rights to defend civilians against the regime’s aggressions.”

“If the international community persists in its failure to protect besieged civilians and lift the sieges imposed against them, then both the political and military wings of the opposition will reconsider their stances on the entire political process,” the statement added.

The statement called upon the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) “to transform the besieged areas into protected areas that can be neither targeted militarily nor besieged to deny them humanitarian access, in accordance with international law and United Nations resolutions agreed upon by all ISSG states.”

The statement went on: “The Assad regime and its allies have transformed forced sectarian cleansing into a clear and systematic policy that deprives civilians of their livelihoods, starves them to death, and then pushes them into ‘agreeing’ to leave their homes and neighborhoods.”

“This ‘kneel or starve’ policy, which is unlawful and amounts to a crime against humanity, has been enacted in over 14 regime-besieged areas that also saw widespread killings with forbidden weapons such as cluster munitions, white phosphorus, napalm, barrel bombs, and chemical weapons.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 19.09.2016)

Alabdah to New Zealand’s Envoy: Assad Regime’s Hindering of Aid Delivery Undermines CoH

President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Alabdah said that the Assad regime’s obstruction of the delivery of humanitarian aid to the besieged parts of Aleppo risks undermining the cessation of hostilities agreement that took effect late on Monday.

In a meeting with New Zealand’s Ambassador to Turkey Jonathan Curr on Friday, Alabdah described the Assad regime as a “bloody regime that only believes in a military solution to the conflict.” He noted that the Assad regime is still not serious about engaging in a political process needed to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, condemning the regime’s policies of killing, intimidation and displacement of the Syrian people.

Alabdah stressed the need to prioritize sustained, unfettered humanitarian access to the besieged cities and towns, most importantly to eastern Aleppo, Alwaer district in Homs, Moadamiya, Madaya and eastern Ghouta. He pointed out that the Assad regime seeks to force residents of the besieged areas out of their homes under threats of starvation and bombardment.

Both sides discussed New Zealand’s intention to call a special UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Syria. Alabdah emphasized that the session must be focused on the situation in the besieged areas, the regime’s mass forced displacement policy and its hindering of the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in need.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 18.09.2016)

Yahya: Absence of Punishment Encourages Assad & Allies to Violate CoH

Member of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee Okab Yahya said that the Assad regime violated the cessation of hostilities agreement just hours after it took effect late on Monday. The lack of deterrent actions or punitive measures by the UN Security Council and by the United States, a co-sponsor of the CoH agreement, encourages the Assad regime to carry on with violating the agreement, he stressed.

Yahya underscored the need to establish clear monitoring mechanisms to record violations of the CoH, adding that Russia cannot be a neutral or credible monitor as it is violates the agreement and provides a cover for regime’s violations.

The Syrian Committee for Human Rights (SCHR) said that at least 129 civilians were killed across Syria between 12-15 September.

According to the rights group, 78 civilians were killed as a result of bombardment by the Russian and regime forces, while 24 people were killed in clashes between rebel groups and regime forces. 23 people were killed by ISIS. Monday saw the highest number of civilian casualties.

The victims were distributed in Syrian provinces as follows: 52 in Deir Ezzor, 26 in Idlib, 17 in Rural Damascus, 16 in Dar’a, 12 in Aleppo, 4 in Homs and 1 in Hama.

The United States and Russia on Thursday agreed to extend the truce for 48 hours. Activists across Syria said they have recorded at least 130 breaches of the CoH by Assad regime and its allies over the past four days.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 16.09.2016)

No less than 28 Violations of the Cessation of Hostilities during the First 48 Hours all of which at the hands of the Syrian Regime

The Second Ceasefire will have the same Impact as the First unless Violators are Held Accountable

the Cessation of Hostilities

SNHR has published a report entitled: “The Second Ceasefire will have the same Impact as the First unless Violators are Held Accountable” and affirmed that all violations recorded in the report were by the Syrian regime and its allies.
The report notes that the Cessation of Hostilities statement holds within the reasons for its meltdown which revolves around two fundamental limitations:
First: The Russian government is a sponsoring party to the Cessation of Hostilities statement with the American government. However, Russian forces are actively fighting and siding with the Syrian regime in Syria and have been involved in tens of crimes that constitute war crimes. If Russia was to play the role of a meditator, it should first withdraw its forces and abstain from directly siding with one of the conflict parties.

Second: In case the Russian forces breached the ceasefire, and these breaches were documented, what would be the accountability mechanism in this respect given that Russian forces are a party to the agreement and to the accountability as well? and what is the accountability mechanism for the Syrian regime, the Russian regime’s partner in violating the ceasefire?
Furthermore, the report stresses that no delivery of any aids to the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo governorate via Al Castello Road were documented even though it was stated in the Cessation of Hostilities statement. Furthermore, the siege hasn’t been lifted on any of the besieged areas and no detainees were released.
This report includes the violations that were documented during the first 48 hours of the Cessation of Hostilities in its first stage which went into effect at 7:00 PM of Monday 12 September 2016 until 7:00 PM of Wednesday 14 September 2016. The violations reached 28 violations all of which were by government forces and its allies.

Fadel Abdul Ghani, chairman of SNHR, says:
“It is undeniable that the Cessation of Hostilities statement of February 2016 has prevented a lot of bloodshed and destruction in the following month March 2016. We indeed have noticed a significant decrease in death toll and destruction mainly because the aerial bombardment by the Russian and Syrian regimes warplanes, which are the main cause of the killing and destruction, have been ceased. We have affirmed repeatedly that by only banning aerial warfare in Syria, 70% of the death toll would be spared.”
The report calls on the joint American-Russian committee to investigate these incident as soon as possible and to make the findings of these investigations public for the Syrian people. Also, the Committee should prevent the reoccurrence of such violations.

Additionally, the report asserts that the United States of America, The United States of America, being a primary sponsor, should ask the Russian side to pressure on its ally the Syrian regime to cease the violations and breaches that it perpetrated and to start lifting the siege, immediately allow the passage of humanitarian aids, and release detainees.
Also, the report emphasizes that the international community should, in synchronization with the Cessation of Hostilities, work on initiating a political process towards a transitional phase that would result in a democratic regime which will put a real end to the suffering of the Syrian people.

View full Report

(Source / 15.09.2016)

In Video: Syria’s rebels beg Israelis for help, ask for military support

Islamist rebels fighting the Syrian Army in southwestern Syria are desperately seeking more support from neighboring Israel.

In a phone call made by an Israeli reporter and a field commander from the Saudi-backed Jaish al-Islam, the later confirmed that they are not abiding by the ceasefire with the Syrian government, offering the reporter – who spoke fluent Arabic– to send him combat footage from the battlefield.

When asked to address the government of Israel, the rebel commander demanded a full support of arms, food and all kinds of aid.

“I call on our brothers the Israelis to support the revolution in Syria, and provide us with everything; weapons, food, aid…anything brother”.

“You – Israeli – must attack the Syrian Army and help us defeat this ‘infidel regime’,” he added.

The video was released yesterday as the hardline militants launched a wide-scale offensive against government troops in the area, with the aim to take over the Druze town of Hadar and nearby villages.

Today, the Syrian Army shot down an Israeli fighter jet while targeting Army positions in Sa’sa town, located nearly 30 km to the southwest of Damascus near the occupied Golan Heights.

The Syrian government has for long accused Israel of backing up the militants operating near the borders.

(Source / 14.09.2016)

World Condemns Use of Cluster Bombs as More Syrian Civilians Killed by Assad Regime’s Banned Weapons

Activists said that at least 42 civilians, including five children and two women, were killed in attacks by the Assad regime across Syria on Thursday. Internationally banned weapons were used in many of these attacks on liberated areas.

Nations attending the annual meeting of the international treaty banning cluster munitions on September 7, 2016, condemned the continued use of these weapons in Syria, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.

During the three-day meeting in Geneva, first responders, local activists, and journalists reported at least eight cluster munition attacks in Syria in the past week, some of which killed and injured civilians, including children.

“We are outraged that yet more civilians in Syria lost their lives to cluster munitions this week as countries were meeting to discuss the international ban on these weapons,” said Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch and chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition, an international group of organizations working to end the use of the banned weapons.

The 55 state parties participating in the sixth annual meeting of the Convention on Cluster Munitions adopted a declaration in which they condemned any use by any actor of the banned weapons, adding that they were deeply concerned by any and all allegations, reports or documented evidence of the use of cluster munitions.

Activists said that the Assad regime has stepped up attacks using cluster munitions on rebel-held areas in the past few days, most notably on Aleppo. The attacks have enabled regime forces to re-impose siege on the eastern parts of the city.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Assad regime’s air force has dropped no fewer than 1,379 barrel bombs on the rebel-held areas across Syria during August. Nearly 111 civilians, including 35 children and 16 women, have been killed in these attacks, the rights group said. It added that at least seven vital civilian facilities have also been targeted in these attacks.

The network called upon the UN Security Council to ensure full implementation of the resolutions it passed on Syria, warning that failure to do so risks discrediting the UN. It also called for imposing an arms embargo on the Assad regime and for sanctioning the parties supplying the Assad regime with money and weapons.

The Syrian Coalition earlier said that the international community’s silence on Assad’s crimes has encouraged the regime to repeatedly use internationally banned weapons against unarmed civilians.

The Coalition stressed that “the international community’s failure to take concrete action towards the crimes of the Assad regime and the failure of the UN Security Council to defend the resolutions it passed on Syria has given the Assad regime a green light to commit more crimes against the Syrian people using all means of murder at its disposal.”

The Coalition pointed out that deterring the Assad regime from carrying on with such crimes requires the referral of the regime’s violations of UN Security Council resolutions to the International Criminal Court.

(Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies / 11.09.2016)