Settlers, Rabbis Storm Al Aqsa

Israeli settlers and rabbis, on Wednesday, broke into the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, fueling tension at the site, according to WAFA correspondence.

Al AqsaPNN

Jewish hard-liners and rabbis stormed and toured the mosque compound in the morning, provoking tension with Palestinian worshipers who chanted religious slogans in defiance of the unwelcome entry.

Meanwhile, Israeli police continue to impose restrictions on Palestinian entry to the site, especially women and youth, holding their identity cards prior to admittance.

The site has continually witnessed violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police, most frequently due to provocative visits by Jewish extremists who believe the mosque should be destroyed and replaced with a Jewish temple.

Reports that Israel was planning to enforce a temporal division of the mosque between Muslims and Jews also helped fuel the current round of unrest in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.

The site is the third holiest place for Muslims, and has, since 1967, been the center of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict. While it is widely known as Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jews refer to the site as the “Temple Mount” and believe it was the site of two Jewish temples destroyed in ancient times.

Palestinians worry that if Jewish visitors were allowed to pray in the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, it would eventually lead to a permanent change which will result in full Israeli control and ban on Muslim prayer.

Despite the fact that the site is the location of al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, two of the most holy destinations for Muslims, hundreds of Jewish extremists regularly attempt to legalize prayer at the compound, a move that will “inevitably” trigger Palestinians, said Israeli police.

Christians outside of the Levant remain divided on the issue, as biblical end times prophecy states: “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” ~Revelation 21:22

(Source / 26.11.2015)

Jewish-Only Cities to Evict Thousands of Palestinians

Thousands of Palestinians will be displaced as part of a new Israeli plan to build several Jewish-only communities in the Negev region, in south of the Israeli territory, which will be built on top of Bedouin Palestinian villages, civil rights groups said Wednesday.

Bedouin Negev

“This is part of an ongoing policy of pushing Palestinian Bedouins off their land in the Negev,” Sana Ibn Bari, a lawyer for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), told Al-Jazeera.

The plan was approved by the Israeli government on Sunday, and allows the construction of five Jewish settlements in the Negev region, according to Telesur/Al Ray. Israeli Minister of Housing Yoav Galant hailed the government’s decision and said the region should be turned “into a desired and flourishing area, in accordance with the Zionist vision”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called, on Sunday, for more Jewish communities “to be built quickly while bypassing bureaucratic processes”.

The Israeli government classifies Palestinian villages in the region as “unrecognized”, and says that people there do not have proper permits for constructing houses. (The overwhelming majority of Palestinians are rarely, if ever, granted such permits.)

At least two villages will be affected by the plan, according to a press release by several rights groups in Israel who have denounced the plan. “The settlement of Daya would be built on the unrecognized village of Katamat, which is home to 1,500 people and the Neve Gurion settlement is supposed to be built on part of the land of Beer Hadaj, a recognized village with approximately 6,000 residents,” Bimkom and ACRI said in the statement.

Palestinians living in the Negev are part of the over 1.7 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, who, according to rights groups, are facing systematic discrimination by Israeli policies and laws.

In May, Israeli-based Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights issued a database documenting more than 50 discriminatory laws which directly or indirectly target Palestinian citizens of Israel by quelling their political expression and limiting their access to state resources, notably land.

Last month, a Bedouin village was demolished by Israeli forces for the 90th time in five years for being “unrecognized”. While Israel claims that these people do not have permits for the villages, residents say those villages existed before the foundation of the Israeli state in 1948.

(Source / 25.11.2015)

3,500 Gaza patients threatened by Rafah closure: PA

A Palestinian ambulance waits to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 20, 2015. (AFP photo)

A Palestinian ambulance waits to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 20, 2015

Palestinian officials have warned about the deteriorating health conditions of thousands of patients in the besieged Gaza Strip following Egypt’s closure of the Rafah crossing.

The spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf al-Qidra, said that some 3,500 Palestinian patients are in dire need of medical treatment in the coastal sliver which is under Israeli siege.

Qidra warned that Palestinians were eagerly waiting for the Rafah crossing, along the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt, to open as they must travel to the neighboring country in order to receive much-needed treatment.

He called on the International Red Cross and human rights organizations to pressure Egypt to open the Rafah crossing and to allow patients to travel to receive medical treatment.

The crossing was last opened for four days in August. Following its closure, Palestinian border official Maher Abu Sabha expressed hope that the crossing would soon “reopen in both directions permanently.”

The Rafah crossing serves as the only gateway out of the blockaded Palestinian territory bypassing Israel, which closed all other crossings several years ago.

It has only been open for a total of two weeks since the start of the year.

Cairo tightened the restrictions on the border crossing after the Egyptian military ousted former President Mohammed Morsi in a 2013 coup.

Dozens of Palestinian patients have lost their lives due to a lack of medicine and medical supplies since Israel imposed a blockade against the impoverished Gaza Strip, which is home to some 1.8 million people, in 2007.

In August, the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, warned that some 17,000 Palestinians were in urgent need to leave the strip for medical assistance.

(Source / 25.11.2015)

Russia and Syria close to cutting off ISIS supply routes from Turkey


The Russian Air Force should continue its efforts to close the Jarabulus-Afrin corridor in northern Syria, despite the latest Turkish provocation, Bangkok-based geopolitical analyst Tony Cartalucci stresses.

Geopolitical analyst Tony Cartalucci draws attention to the fact that over the recent weeks Russian and Syrian forces have been steadily gaining ground in Syria, retaking territory from ISIL and al-Qaeda.

“The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has even begun approaching the Euphrates River east of Aleppo, which would effectively cut off ISIS [ISIL] from its supply lines leading out of Turkish territory,” Cartalucci narrates in his latest article for New Eastern Outlook.

He explains that from there, Syrian troops with Russian air support would move north, into the very “safe zone” which Washington and Ankara have planned to carve out of Syria. Cartalucci points out that the “safe zone” includes a northern Syria area stretching from Jarabulus to Afrin and Al-Dana.

If Syrian troops establish their control over this zone, the Western plan of taking and holding the territory (with the prospect of further Balkanization of the region) would fall apart at the seams. In light of this, the regime change project, harbored by the West since the very beginning of the Syrian unrest, would be “indefinitely suspended,” Cartalucci underscores.

“The endgame is at hand, and only the most desperate measures can hope to prevent Russia and Syria from finally securing Syria’s borders. Turkey’s provocation is just such a measure,” he emphasizes.

“As in the game of chess, a player often seeks to provoke their opponent into a series of moves,” Cartalucci notes.

​According to the geopolitical analyst, Russia’s best choice now is to continue winning this war, eventually taking the Jarabulus-Afrin corridor. By fortifying this area Russian and Syrian forces would prevent NATO from invading Syria, at the same time cutting off the ISIL and al-Nusra Front supply route from Turkey.

​Russo-Syrian victory would have far-reaching consequences for the region as a whole.

“With Syria secured, an alternative arc of influence will exist within the Middle East, one that will inevitably work against Saudi and other Persian Gulf regimes’ efforts in Yemen, and in a wider sense, begin the irreversible eviction of Western hegemony from the region,” Cartalucci underscores.

​He believes that it is the beginning of the end of the US-led unipolar global order.

The geopolitical analyst stresses that in a war emotions should be channeled by “superior strategic thinking” into a good plan which serves both short-term and long-term objectives. According to Cartalucci, the Russian leadership has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to take balanced strategic decisions.

(Source / 25.11.2015)

Erdogan: Palestinians are fighting a ‘noble and honourable battle’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated this morning that the Muslim world is going through a very difficult time, noting that “our brethren in Palestine are confronting the Israeli violations and attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and are fighting a noble and honourable battle.”

In his speech before the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC), Erdogan highlighted the fact that the blockade imposed on Gaza continues and has turned Gaza into an open-air prison.

He also stressed the need to not let this situation continue, and mentioned the situation in Syria and the incident with the Russian fighter jet earlier this week.

The Turkish premier claimed that two unknown fighter jets penetrated Turkey’s air space before Turkish air controllers requested the jets to retreat. One jet left while the other remained, so the Turkish fighter jets shot it down.

He added that parts of the fighter jet fell on Turkish territory, resulting in the death and injury of Turkish citizens.

(Source / 25.11.2015)

Pressure Mounting On David Cameron To Investigate Saudi Support Of ISIS

Internal political pressure in mounting to rethink the UK’s relationship with the it’s gulf allies.

Prime Minister David Cameron pictured in 2012 meeting former Saudi King Abdullah.

Prime Minister David Cameron pictured in 2012 meeting former Saudi King Abdullah.

Prime Minister David Cameron must examine financial links between UK-allied Gulf regimes and terror groups, or risk facing awkward questions about Conservative Party links to “rich Arab Gulf individuals,” says former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown.

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine program on Tuesday, Ashdown – who is also a former soldier and has served as an ambassador to Afghanistan and Bosnia – said he is deeply concerned about how terrorism and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) are being funded, and the UK government’s response to this.

Who is arming ISIS, who is providing safe havens for ISIS? To get there you have to ask questions about the arms everyone’s sold in the region, the role of Saudi Arabia in this. I think there are some very big questions and we have to be careful,” Ashdown said.

He said there had been a “failure to put pressure on the Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to stop funding the Salafists and Wahhabists,” and said he is worried “about the closeness of the Conservative Party and rich Arab Gulf individuals.

He hinted the strategic priorities of the UK in Syria are the wrong way around. “I think we should be impatient about the removal of ISIL and I think we should be more patient about the removal of Assad.

Ashdown’s calls for a proper investigation into terror funding by the West’s Arab allies echo, to some extent, those of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Speaking to the House of Commons last Wednesday, the Labour leader urged Parliament to take more action to clamp down on institutions which provide “vital infrastructure” to the terror group in Syria and Iraq.

Corbyn said one of the main ways to stop IS from functioning is to cut off its resources, suggesting the EU would also need to play a part in suffocating the organization.

Surely a crucial way to help defeat ISIL is to cut off its funding, its supply of arms, and its trade,” Corbyn said during prime minister’s questions (PMQs).

Can I press the prime minister to ensure that our allies in the region, indeed all countries in the region, are doing all they can to clamp down on individuals and institutions in their countries who are providing ISIL with vital infrastructure?

(Source / 25.11.2015)

Intimidating nightraids and arrests in the peaceful village of Osarin

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In the night of the 21st of november the village of Osarin was raided by Israeli forces. Approximately 60 Israeli soldiers entered the small village of only 2000 inhabitants at 1 AM and gathered in the central part of the village where they immediately confiscated one of the homes.

The soldiers split up in 5 groups of 12 soldiers. Each group went to a separate home to arrest a boy. The young boys (ages ranging 15 to 20) were handcuffed and taken with their fathers to the confiscated house in the center of the village for interrogation.

The boys were informed by the soldier they were arrested for throwing stones at the Israeli forces a few days earlier and for shining with laser lights. The boys were than interrogated by the soldiers. One boy explained how he was forced to strip naked in front of the soldiers so they could make sure he didn’t carry any weapon on him. All the boys were told to stand on one leg with their heads against the wall for over a hour.
All of the boys were released after 2 hours of interrogation. One of the boys’ fathers who works in Israel was told by the soldiers that he would loose his job if his son ‘made trouble’ again. The next day one of the village officials went to meet with the Israeli forces. They told him straight forward that no boys in the village could ‘make trouble’ again. In his response he explained that he could only speak for his own child, not the others.

The night raid on Osarin came after the army set up 2 road blocks around Osarin (both alongside the route 505 highway) which were ment to prohibit the movement of local Palestinians and close off the small village from surrounding areas.

This wasn’t the first time soldiers raided Osarin, local residents explained that the village was raided 2 times before the road blocks. Each time a group of 20 soldiers would enter the village in the middle of night when everyone was asleep. They would set off sound bombs and shoot in the air just to deprive people of their sleep. The local residents of Osarin said that these raids had no purpose and were just pure intimidation of the village and its inhabitants.

(Source / 25.11.2015)

Palestinian teen shot in clashes 2 weeks ago dies from wounds

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A 16-year-old Palestinian shot by Israeli forces during clashes two weeks ago succumbed to his wounds on Wednesday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.The ministry said doctors failed to save the life of Ibrahim Abdul-Halim Dawood, 16, after the teen was shot in his heart during Ramallah clashes two weeks previously.Dawood, from the village of Deer Ghassan in the central occupied West Bank village of Ramallah, is the second Palestinian teen to lose their life on Wednesday.Earlier, Israeli forces shot and killed Muhammad Ismail Shubaki, a 19-year-old student, after the teen stabbed an Israeli soldier near al-Fawwar refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.The Palestinian Ministry of Health told Ma’an that Shubaki was shot on scene and evacuated to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem in critical condition, where he later died.Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom said the Israeli, 20, was left in severe condition and transferred to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.At least 94 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since the beginning of October, 24 of which were minors. While Israel alleged many of those were attempting to attack Israelis when they were shot, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel’s version of events in a number of cases.The attacks that have taken place — claiming the lives of 19 Israelis — have been accompanied by a wave of popular unrest that has swept the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.

(Source / 25.11.2015)

Addressing discrimination against Saudi women

Samar Fatany
The women’s sections in government offices are marginalized and ineffective. They do not have the authority to serve the needs of women or address their problems, according to Abdulaziz Al-Magly, the Director of the Monitoring and Investigation Department of Human Services. The government has lately stepped up its inspection campaigns on various ministries and conducts regular investigations to discover any negligence or inadequacies. It is comforting to know that officials are supporting the official role of women in government.

The appointment of women to the Shoura Council has also given the progressives among us some hope. Nevertheless, progress is still slow and women have yet to create pressure groups in all sectors of society to address social and political needs.

Women face barriers in municipal elections

It is still unclear whether women running for election to municipal councils will succeed and it remains to be seen whether, if elected, society will acknowledge their role on these councils. There are many skeptics who think that there are too many social barriers and that the majority will not support the move.

Many women did not run because of the inaccurate information that preceded the registration for elections. Official rules were deliberately misinterpreted to discourage women from participating. Many felt insulted by claims that any woman who was found in the company of men during the election campaign would be fined or face a prison sentence. Another equally demeaning claim was that women candidates would not be allowed to present their programs in person but needed to appoint a male representative to speak on their behalf.

Extremists and ill-informed scholars have twisted facts and made women subservient to their male guardians

Samar Fatany

Unfortunately, there was no immediate clarification of the rules governing the elections. It was later explained that women candidates were required to specify the name of a male representative who would be officially recognized to speak on their behalf in case they were unable to attend a certain function. As for the fines, they were only intended to restrict any individual man or woman from entering undesignated sections of the election headquarters.

The social conflict continues between progressives and extremists who advocate the unjustified discrimination against women in society. The negative attitude toward women remains a cause of public discontent and a source of frustration to many citizens in society today. What is needed is a push for a paradigm shift in attitude toward women.

Discriminatory laws

Meanwhile, women should reflect upon their role in society and should not be dissuaded by those who stand against progress. They need to be more effective in ending male domination that deprives them of their basic rights. They need to be more assertive in rejecting discriminatory laws imposing male guardian controls that include: their right to employment; litigation; the issuance of passports; the execution of private and governmental contracts; and discharge from rehabilitation or detention institutions and others.

The issue of full citizenship for women was recently the subject of a long debate among members of the Shoura Council. Women in the Shoura Council on October 13, 2015 were able to push for the amendment of the Civil Status Law calling for enhancing women’s citizenship and eliminating any form of discrimination against women, especially the right of women to have their own ID cards and the right to pass their citizenship to their children or their husband.

Other discriminatory laws include retirement regulations for women stipulating that a woman cannot have her retirement benefits if her husband is also retired. There are also laws that allow child marriages, arbitrary divorce, confinement and the absolute male domination over women in this day and age.

In the absence of public transportation, women are confined to the four walls of their homes and are unable to practice their right of movement. There is no justification in ignoring this legitimate right at both religious and social levels.

Hopefully, the amendments will eliminate the contradictions in the laws that govern the legal rights of women and will stipulate compliance with the laws with pertinent procedures.

Laws governing civil society need to be amended in order to grant legal permits for social institutions that can protect the rights of women and support the empowerment of women nationwide.

Extremists and ill-informed scholars have twisted facts and made women subservient to their male guardians. Women today should arm themselves with proper Islamic education to confront the rigid interpretations of the Holy Qur’an and adopt the true teachings of Shariah to refute the discriminations against them in the name of Islam.

Those in the Shoura and municipal councils have a duty to help society evolve and support women who may be unaware of a better way of life. They should put more pressure on religious scholars to promote a more tolerant narrative which declares that it is not un-Islamic to adopt a modern lifestyle in order to serve the modern-day needs of women at work and in their homes.

(Source / 25.11.2015)


By Peter Clifford                  ©       (


The scenario that many dreaded (EDITOR: Including me. Below is my best interpretation of events compiled from many conflicting reports) happened yesterday, Tuesday, with the downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet.


Stricken Russian Su-24 Before it Plunges to Earth

Turkey said the Russian plane had been warned “10 times” not to invade their airspace, while Russia said their plane had been shot down over Syrian airspace.

Both statements seem to be correct.

While engaged in bombing raids (the Free Syrian Army [FSA] says the Russian plane had just bombed civilians in Jisr Al-Shughour in Idlib province) the Su-24 had passed several times over a “peninsular” along the Turkish border that sticks out into Syria.

As the Su-24 can fly as fast as 815 mph, to cross this peninsular (see map below) would take 17 seconds or less.

After warnings were ignored, the Turkish F-16 then fired an air-to-air missile, probably from Turkish airspace, which struck the Russian bomber over Syria, bringing it down on the Syrian side a few kilometres from the Syrian/Turkish frontier, HERE:

The pilot and the navigator, who sit side by side in the Su-24 cockpit, ejected from the stricken aircraft as it plunged towards the ground and as they parachuted earthwards, local Turkmen militia, who are anti-Assad and aligned to the FSA, fired upon them killing one, thought to be the navigator, HERE:

While the Turkmen produced video of the dead navigator, Lieutenant Colonel Peshkov, the whereabouts of the pilot, Captain Konstantin Murakhtin, was at the time unknown.

The Russians sent 2 helicopters on a search and rescue mission over the Turkman mountains in northern Latakia province, but these in turn were fired upon by the local militia causing one of them to crash land.

The FSA 2nd Coastal Division then took out this M1-8 helicopter as it was parked on the ground after a forced landing with a (US-made) TOW anti-tank missile, HERE:

A Russian marine in the helicopter was also killed, though it is not clear whether he was shot from the ground or died when the helicopter exploded. The rest of the crew were later rescued.

The Turkmen claimed at one point that they had both the Russians from the downed Su-24, and while this may have been the case for a while, this was not verified.

Latest reports today, Wednesday, say that Russian and Syrian special forces mounted a 12 hour operation on Tuesday night that penetrated 4.5 kilometres into Opposition territory in the Turkman Mountains, rescuing the pilot, Captain Muraktin, and returning him to his base near Latakia, “safe and well”.

Speaking from Hmeymim airbase Wednesday afternoon, where his plane was based, the rescued pilot said that they had received “no warning”, though that is contradicted by Colonel Steve Warren, an American military spokesman in Baghdad, who says that recorded communication between the Turkish and Russian pilots showed that the Turks did warn the Russian plane 10 times before they shot it down.

This map shows the Turkish border (in turquoise) and the flight of the Russian Su-24 (in red), here:


Border Area Where Russian Jet Crossed into Turkey

While the whole incident had the potential to escalate completely out of hand, with Turkey calling in its NATO partners and then facing up against Russia, it is most likely to turn into a war of words, economic sanctions by Russia on Turkey and lots of military posturing.

President Obama, President Holland and Chancellor Merkel called for “restraint”, while Putin burbled on about a “stab in the back committed by accomplices of terrorists” and promised “serious consequences”.

Putin also claimed that their plane was attacking “Islamic State terrorists”, though there are no known IS Jihadists anywhere near Jisr Al-Shughour where the plane had recently bombed or the Turkman Mountain area.

The Russian Ministry of Defence has said that in future its bombers will be accompanied by defensive fighter jets, it will be sending its advanced S-400 air defence system to Syria to protect its airbase, and the missile cruiser “Moskva” will be deployed off the Syrian coast to “destroy any targets threatening Russian planes”.

Sergie Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, also cancelled a planned visit to Turkey’s capital, Ankara, scheduled for today, Wednesday, saying that the incident “really looks like a planned provocation” but adding, “We do not plan to go to war with Turkey, our attitude toward the Turkish people has not changed.”

Not the feelings of some Russians apparently.  Around a 1,000 attacked the Turkish embassy in Moscow today, Wednesday, smashing all the windows and generally doing their best to wreck it.  The Russian police did not intervene.

Russians have also been told to avoid visiting Turkey, one of their favourite package holiday destinations,  where they “may not be safe”.


Opposition Fighter in Northern Latakia

The Turkmen are of Turkish decent and have lived in this region since the 11th century.

Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, many of them have been trained and armed by Turkish special forces.

In Latakia, the Jabal al-Turkman Brigade, which was formed in 2013, comprises of 12 armed units, and its their 2nd Coastal Division, which was formed in 2015 and backed by the FSA, which is involved in the latest incident.

Assad’s and Russian planes regularly bomb the Turkmen villages and kill their civilian population, many of whom now live in tents in the mountains.

Hardly surprising then that they will fire at Russian military helicopters and Russian bomber crew, given the opportunity.

The BBC has more detail on the Turkmen Opposition.

Russia will have to retaliate somewhere and the Turkmen are now their most likely target, indeed latest reports suggest that the Russians have fired 4 cruise missiles at their northern Latakia bases this morning, Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Assad’s forces, backed by Russian air support advanced into the Latakia Turkman territory at Rashwan Hill and the villages of Katf al-Ghader, Ain Samoukh, Jib al-Ahmar and Ruwysat al-Mallouha.

Both the BBC and Al Jazeera have video summaries of all the events.

Map of Northern Latakia Showing Turkish Border


As if all the above were not enough, on Monday night it is alleged that Israel once again bombed Hezbollah and Syrian Army positions in the mountainous Qalamoun region between Damascus and Lebanon.

According to reports, after several hours of reconnaissance flights above the area the Israeli Air Force (IAF) made 2 attacks on a joint Hezbollah/Assad position in the Ras Al-Maara mountains, immediately followed by a 3rd raid on another position in the Qara mountains.

A 4th raid hit a Hezbollah position on Flita mountain. 8 Hezbollah fighters and 5 Syrian troops are said to have been killed in the attacks, as well as injuring dozens more who were rushed to Yabrud and Nabk hospitals, several of them critically injured.

Syria News

French Nuclear Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle

Also on Monday, France moved its aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle into combat position off the Syrian coast and launched a series of bombing raids against Islamic State positions in Tal Afar in Iraq.

The Charles de Gaulle, which is powered by 2 nuclear reactors, carries 26 attack aircraft, tripling France’s capacity to bomb IS targets in Syria and Iraq.

In Aleppo province, heavy fighting continues between the Opposition coalition and pro-Assad forces south of Aleppo. The Opposition have re-captured 10 villages this week in a counter-offensive, driving back an enemy composed mainly of Iranian militia. Latest reports say opposition fighters have captured Banes.

Footage of a successful Opposition TOW strike against a regime communications station on Tel Eis, HERE:

North of Aleppo, Opposition fighters have also struck back at regime positions in Bashkoi, reportedly destroying a total of 10 rocket launchers, tanks and armoured vehicles.


Turkish Tanks Being Brought by Train to the Syrian Border

In what may well be a retaliatory strike following yesterday’s loss of a jet bomber, Russian planes this afternoon bombed Azaz in northern Aleppo province just 4 kilometres from the border with Turkey, hitting a number of trucks, many of which are probably Turkish, HERE:

As tensions grow, there are additionally reports of an increased concentration of Turkish tanks along the Syrian/Turkish border and overflights of Turkish helicopters 3 to 4 kilometres into Rojava, Kurdish territory, north of Hasakah.

In southern Suweida province, which is predominately Druze, a resistance to compulsory conscription gathers pace.

More than ten Druze communities have refused to allow the Assad regime to compulsorily register their young men for military conscription and have said they will fight the authorities if they attempt to take the men by force.

With an increasing lack of manpower, and increasing dependence on foreign militia, the Assad regime was thought in May to have at least 70,000 young men in provinces it wholly or partially controls skipping conscription.

Lastly, there are still people in the world that care and act on the hell that is Syria, this time in the US, HERE: