Monday, December 5, 2016
اتراك يتظاهرون في اسطنبول امس الأول احتجاجاً بعد اندلاع حريق في مسكن طلابي في أضنة وأدى إلى سقوط عشرات القتلى والجرحى (أ ف ب)
نشر هذا المقال في جريدة السفير بتاريخ 2016-12-03
By Izat Charkatli –
ALEPPO, SYRIA – Not a week after the major breakthrough the Syrian Armed Forces accomplished in Hnano Housing District that had them capture all the east Aleppo districts that lay north of the Al-Bab Highway, the Syrian Army would proceed to launch its second phase of the Aleppo offensive.
Starting with the Ma’asaraniyah Youth Housing Complex and the Research Housing district that lie directly west of the Aleppo International Airport, the aim of the second phase is the seizure of the entire region between the Al-Bab Highway and the road that connects the international airport to the Ancient Citadel cresting the heart of Syria’s largest city.
Within a matter of days, the Syrian Arab Army succeeded in capturing the districts of Karm Al-Jazmati, Karm Al-Tarrab, Dahret Awad, Karm Al-Maysar, Karm Al-Tahhan, Karm Al-Qaterjy, Tariq Al-Bab, and Halwaniyah almost surrounding the rebels entrenched in Sha’ar and Bab Al-Hadid districts.
With no more than 500 meters separating the elite Tiger Forces at the Eyes Hospital and the garrison of the citadel, the rebels are expected to abandon their holdouts in the Old City neighborhoods north of the citadel or risk further isolation in the city.
Map in HD:
- أحياء حلب الشرقية تضيق على المسلحين: حرب استنزاف أو انتظار «الهدنة»؟
- حلب مجدداً في «مجلس الأمن»: مشروع «هدنة» يفعّل عمل دي ميستورا
- «فتح الشام» تغزو مستودعات «فيلق الشام» في حلب
- حلب: خطوط المسلحين تتآكل.. والجيش يطاردهم
- الجيش السوري يُسيطر على 60 % من شرق حلب
- Syrian Army Takes Back Two Key Districts West of Aleppo International Airport
- Syrian Army Conducts Military Operations in Eastern Aleppo’s Tariq Al-Bab District
- Terrorists Brutally Murder Family for Trying to Escape Eastern Aleppo
- Civilians Wounded in New Round of Militant Shelling in Northern Aleppo
- Syria: Five Dead & 44 Injured in Militants’ Shelling in Western Aleppo
- Syria: Civilians Evacuated to Government-Held Neighborhoods of Aleppo
Sunday, December 4, 2016
I have posted a number of previous posts about Ahmed Dawabsha, the young Palestinian boy who lost his mother, father, and younger brother in an arson attack carried out by Israeli settlers on the night of July 31, 2015. But this the first time I’ve seen an interview with his grandfather, who, as you’ll see in the video above, provides a graphic account of what took place that night–and afterwards.
The program features other interviews as well that are quite good and that offer disturbing insights into the extent of Israeli settler terror, its impact on the lives of Palestinians, and the complacent attitude toward it all exhibited by the Israeli government.
December 02, 2016
In his annual speech to the Federal Assembly, President Putin stated, “the army and Navy proved, that is able to effectively work away from their permanent locations”.
Syrian campaign update
The Russian MOD finally confirmed the participation of the Admiral Grigorovich frigate and the missile ships Serpukhov and Zeleny Dol in Kalibr cruise missile launches against terrorist locations in Syria.
If there was one ship that deserves a mention, it goes to the Russian Navy’s Krivak II Class frigate “PYTLIVY», (Pennant 868). It finally returned home after 114 days on Mediterranean deployment. Not exactly the longest time on station, that goes to the Varyag from the Pacific fleet, reportedly still in the eastern Med since January 2016.
The media reported that the Hmeymim air base is also being expanded: (I think that this has been the case since the start of the Russian operations in Syria).
After somewhat discreet & delicate negotiations, Iran has offered the use of the Hamadan airbase, with an interesting condition: “in case the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier departs Syrian shores for a new mission.”
US State Dept spokesman Mark Toner asked other countries to not supply tankers/ Russia navy with fuel that are involved in the Syria campaign. This comes on the back of the claims made in the press that Russian tankers are breaking the EU sanctions on Syria. Probably this is actually something to do with the fact that one Russian tanker came into Limassol last week.
Exclusive: Russian tankers defy EU ban to smuggle jet fuel to Syria – sources http://reut.rs/2gGE9zq
Exclusive: Russian tankers defy EU ban to smuggle jet fuel to Syria – sourcesRussian tankers have smuggled jet fuel to Syria through EU waters, bolstering military supplies to a war-torn country where Moscow is carrying out air strikes in support of the government, according…reuters.com
Predictably, the response to the US & EU whine on Russian tanker needs to be filed under “Russian understatements”: don’t get in our way of fighting terrorists if you won’t.
Russian Navy Modernisation
The last of the first batch of Varshavyanka class, the KILO-III diesel electric submarine Kolpino has been officially handed over to the Russian Navy in St Petersburg.
According to RIA, the frigate “Admiral Makarov” has just completed trials in the Barents Sea and is expected in the Baltic. In other news Russian shipyards will start building a number of Lider-class destroyers at the same time. Likewise thee Russian Navy plans to have 6 additional Su-30SM fighter jets in service and also 2 Il-38 anti-submarine aircraft & 10 helicopters by the end of the year, by the end of 2016, Navy Commander Adm. Vladimir Korolev said. This might include the new Arctic version of MIL-8. Read more:
TASS reported that the carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” got recognized as one of the best units of the Northern Fleet. (in Russian).
Russia has begun deploying an all-encompassing maritime surveillance system, (SOSUS type), called ‘Harmony’. The system includes robotic autonomous seabed stations and won’t be fully operational until 2020. Contrast this to the long-standing US SOSUS that has been in place for decades and is found across the world.
The Syrian Express
The military shuttle service between Syria and Russia is going at a fairly hectic pace. Just trying to keep track of the various ships going back and forth is astonishing. The LSTs deployments bear the brunt of the ferrying of personnel & equipment for well over a year now. To give a glimpse of the pace of the Syrian Express: (as mentioned in NB 01), the Alexander Shabalin, (Pennant 110), returned from Syria after a week & recently was seen going back to Syria on the 1st Dec. Similarily, the Tsezar Kunikov, (158), were seen transiting the Bosporus:
Northbound: 7th Oct, 25th Oct, and 15th Nov
Southbound: on 27th Sept, 16th Oct, (?), 23rd Nov
This needs to be filed under ‘paradox’. The Russian warship, Vice-Admiral Kulakov, rescued a Ukrainian fishing boat in eastern Med, going from Montenegro to Lebanon. The mariners’ fraternity goes beyond politics.
The thing that initially intrigued me is that the Kulakov was reported as towing the Ukrainian ship over 140nm to Crete, (Gavdos Island). So it is not anymore part of the Kuznetsov group. Later news stated that the Greek authorities detained the Ukrainian fishing boat for cigarette smuggling.
Now, it transpires that the Vice-Admiral Kulakov has left the Mediterranean on the 30th Nov on a long planned journey (in Russian) My hunch is that it might be heading for West Africa, to carry out anti-piracy patrols, as announced by the Russian Foreign Ministry. Coincidentally, pirates off Benin has just captured a Russian ship and subsequently taken hostage 3 Russian sailors.
- Su-33 operations
As stated in naval Brief 01, my hunch on the Kuznetsov’s Su-33s not flying out from the carrier has been confirmed by satellite imagery, seen at Hmeymim. This really doesn’t come as a surprise, but the defence experts & pundits are “making a meal” of it, by saying that it shows the Kuznetsov is an expensive glorified taxi service for its naval aviation.
For me it logical to use Hmeymim as a forward operations base, especially in light of the report that Su-33s were seen above east of the Shaer oil fields, (thus giving them more loiter time & possibility to accomplish missions). Additionally, it gives the naval pilots more valuable broad range of combat experience, particularly since the SU-33s had recently been electronically upgraded for bombing missions. Videos still show Su-33s, on QRA, on the deck of the Kuznetsov, but in their original capacity as air superiority fighters.
- The MIG 29 ditching at sea
I still think that there is more to this story, given that the ditched MIG-29 was piloted by one of the best carrier & a high-ranking senior pilot in the air wing. I personally believe that engine failure may something to do with the crash and not lack of fuel, since the MIG-29 has a history of engines troubles. [Link] [Link]
Maybe if it the Kuznetsov’s flight deck length permits it, one of these fitted at the next refit might save a $35 million or so plane from crashing into the sea. Maybe it is something to consider first for testing on their land-based “ski jump” trainer, (NITKA).
- Tartus naval base
In Brief 02, I commented on the cargo ships activity that are part of the Syrian Express, well the West’s media have finally picked up on this story. According to the media, the Russian navy landing ships and freight ships are delivering ammunition to the Russian Air Force, (these journalists are not quite in the rocket scientist category, if it takes them a year to make this connection).
- Greece & Russian Navy visits
Sputnik reports that a Greek Defense Ministry source said that Greece “will continue allowing Russian warships to resupply in Greek ports and will not tolerate any pressure in regard to its relations with Moscow”. Evidently, “NATO staunch unity” illusion trick is not working, similar to the on-going naval spat between Spain and the UK over Gibraltar waters.
- NATO activities in the Med
- The Turkish-led Mavi Balina exercise has finished this week, with some of the ships re-joining Op Sophia.
- Ocean Shield
This NATO operation has seen piracy activities in the Horn of Africa decrease quite considerably & there has been zero incidents in the last two years. Hence Ocean Shield will finish on the 15th Dec and NATO resources will now focus on Op Sophia and Russia, (Baltic & Black seas) as well. (Well there’s a surprise, NOT).
One such example is the UK’s HMS Bulwark, which arrived in Israel last week and is now located off Cyprus.
In contrast to NATO, the EU is continuing its counter-piracy operations. EUNAVFOR Operation ‘Atalanta’, taking place off the coast of East Africa has been renewed for another two years. The EU Council agreed on 25 November to extend Atalanta’s mandate until 31 December 2018. It also set aside just over EUR11 million (USD11.6 million) for this purpose.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the Russia will continue to take part in counter-piracy operations in the area of the Horn of Africa. The Russian navy is no stranger to those waters, as it was the Priazovye that helped the evacuation of hundreds of civilians from Yemen in 2015
- The Kuznetsov curse strikes again
NATO pundits & MSM made fun of the old Soviet era Russian carrier, but at least the Kuznetsov arrived off Syria, unlike the latest RN warship, HMS Duncan, which broke down during a FOST exercise. Ironies of ironies as it just happens that HMS Duncan was one of the Kuznetsov NATO escorts back in October. Earlier there were rumours of mechanical troubles for a Canadian warship that also escorted the Kuznetsov.
It is also the turn of the US to emulate the Russian Navy, if we had to believe Western media & experts that only Russian Warships have the exclusive right to break down spectacularly.
The MSM message on the Russian Navy is something along the lines of:
“On one hand, Russia’s military is utterly decrepit; on the other hand Russia’s military is far more advanced than we are led to believe”.
7. More US deployment in Med
Thanks you for your time,
The featured image: Obama says to a Russian sailor: “Are you trying to deter NATO with this floating bathtub?”
At the bottom of the picture, – a drawing of the SSBN Borey class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.
Written by Nasser Kandil,
Many people who observe the situations of the world and the region think that what is going on in Aleppo belongs to the Syrians themselves, but they forget that the Saudi stubbornness in all the regional issues starts and ends in Syria. Its final cartridge was the support of the arrival of the US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton according to an understanding, its content is supporting Al Nusra front with qualitative anti-aircrafts weapons, but the dream ends and turns into a nightmare with the arrival of Donald Trump to presidency, who considers Saudi Arabia among the burdens which must be disposed in the US policy, he calls to get out of the swamp of the war on Syria through an understanding with Russia and an openness to the Syrian country, its army, and its President. But the battle in Aleppo remains the articulated arena which decides the end of the stubbornness and the fall of the dream.
The Saudis betted on two weapons, one is represented by the seek to contribute with the Zionist lobbies and financing them to ensure the arrival of an American president to the White House who is complied with the Saudi Israeli aspiration to continue the war against the Syrian country, the investment on Al Nusra front, the seeking to promote it as a moderate alternative rather than ISIS, and the refusal of the US Russian Understanding which was concluded by the US Secretary of State John Kerry entitled dismantling the relation of the opposition from Al Nusra and brings it to the political negotiation in exchange of waging the war against Al Nusra. The second weapon is to exert pressure on each of Russia and Iran in the oil and gas market through a price war, which was waged by Saudi Arabia by flooding the market with millions of the surplus barrels till the price of the barrel has been reduced from a hundred and thirty dollars to thirty dollars. This caused daily loss for each of Russia and Saudi Arabia together, its value exceeds billion dollars which means more than three hundred dollars annually, and the loss of Iran was nearly two hundred million dollars per day, which means more than sixty billion dollars annually. Saudi Arabia was strong due to its financial stock, so it hoped a financial collapse and thus a political one to Russia and Iran.
Within two years, Russia and Iran withstood and waged the war of Syria with all what they have till the Saudi project approaches from the final defeat, Saudi Arabia lost its balances and its reserves, and the US Gesta Law came to freeze the rest, therefore, the deadly disability occurs in the Saudi balance and the track of austerity starts by raising the prices and lowering the salaries. These two years witnessed the understanding on the Iranian nuclear program with the West, and the Russian military reposition in Syria. The Russian and the Iranian economies accustomed to the new oil prices despite the harsh effects which were left by the financial Saudi war, they see the running out of the Saudi deposits and balances, waiting the scream of Saudi Arabia, they know well that the war in Syria and Yemen according to the bills of the US weapons is enough to exhaust the Saudi capacities.
At the meeting of OPEC which was held in Algeria a few months ago, Saudi Arabia tried to reach to an understanding that re-turns the balance to the oil market, by demanding the understanding with Iran from a position that maintains its daily size of production of twelve million barrels per day, and the stability of Iran on two million barrels which it has produced before the understanding on its nuclear program and lifting the sanctions on it, Iran has refused that, but the attraction continued politically, militarily, and financially in all the arenas, but Saudi Arabia was aspiring to Syria whether through waiting the US presidential bet or waiting for what is going to happen in Aleppo.
The Saudis lost the two bets, so they returned to the negotiation on the oil market, they agreed on the Iranian demand by raising the share of Iran to what it was before the siege, which means three and a half million barrels in addition to four hundred thousand barrels as a compensation for what Iran has missed during the period of siege and the sanctions, in exchange of lowering the Saudi production to ten and a half million barrels. Russia collaborated to reduce its production to three hundred thousand barrels per day, in exchange of sharing the increase in the production among three, when the market stabilizes and the demand for the bids increases. The resulting outcome is known, it is the decline of the Saudi revenues of quarter for nearly a year in exchange of the return to the appropriate price. This means one thing, stopping the expenditure on wars and the behaving according to the equation of Saudi Arabia first, even if this implies the recognition of the loss in Syria and Yemen and the regressing towards the Saudi interior.
During the separated year of the improvement of prices, Iran will benefit from the increase of its production in quantity that equals by the current prices nearly twenty billion dollars annually, while Saudi Arabia accepts the loss of nearly fifty billion dollars annually, till the improvement starts to emerge in the market and prices. On the day of signing the nuclear understanding with Iran, including freeing Iran’s balances, Saudi Arabia says that more money at the hands of Iran means more money at the hands of Hezbollah, Syria, Al Houthis, and the resistance in Palestine. This means the Iranian influence in the region, in exchange of stopping the Saudi spending on the wars, which is so-called by Iran the Saudi influence in the region.
The agreements between the countries and the change in their tracks do not have always direct nominations or disrupted issues, but they are summarized with expressive symbols as the relation between the timing of the Saudi retreat and what is happening in Aleppo, after what has happened in Washington and in anticipation for what is going to happen in Paris, and the relationship between the political repositioning and the financial accounts of a country that does not have any balance to be present in politics but through its bursaries, which now are running out, the acceptance of their shortage temporarily is an implicit acceptance of getting out of the politics’ arenas.
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,
Vanessa Dundon, also known as ‘Sioux Z’, was shot in the face with a tear gas canister just before Thanksgiving. Doctors are now saying she will likely not regain vision in her right eye. The incident took place at the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Dundon is one of a number of people who are now part of a class action lawsuit charging officials in Morton County, North Dakota, and the city of Mandan, with excessive force.
Posted on December 4, 2016 by martyrashrakat
– Army units, in cooperation with the supporting forces on Sunday restored stability and security to al-Jazmati Roundabout and al-Halwania Roundabout reaching to Hanano road in the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo.
A military source said that the army units continued advance in the city eastern neighborhoods and chased the fleeing terrorists in the area, SANA reported.
According to the source, terrorists’ fortified positions were destroyed and heavy losses were inflicted upon them in the personnel and equipment.
An army unit directed intensified strikes against two command centers of the armed terrorist groups in the neighborhoods of al-Sad (Dam)road and al-Arba’in area in Daraa al-Balad in Daraa Province.
A military source said that a number of self-claimed terrorist leaders were killed and their vehicles and equipment were destroyed.
The source added that all members of an armed terrorist group affiliated to Jabhat al-Nusra were killed on the road linking al-Nu’aimeh and Um al-Mayazen towns in the army artillery bombardment on the terrorist movements, about 5 km east of Daraa city.
Another army unit targeted terrorist groups while they were demolishing locals’ properties to set up fortifications to the east of the Court’s building, to the northwest of Dar al-Moallymin, to the east of Busra Square in al-Nazihin Camp and to the south of al-Banin School in Daraa al-Balad.
- Army helicopters drop leaflets over Aleppo eastern parts
- Legal status of 40 persons from Hama settled
- Looted Palmyra Treasures Discovered in Geneva Warehouse
- Escaped Aleppo Civilians Tell Heartbreaking Stories about Their Suffering because of Terrorists
- اعادة الأمن والاستقرار إلى دواري الجزماتي والحلوانية وصولا إلى طريق هنانو بحلب والقضاء على عدد من “المتزعمين” بدرعا البلد
- حوامات الجيش تلقي منشورات على الأحياء الشرقية لمدينة حلب تدعو فيها المسلحين إلى ترك سلاحهم وتسوية أوضاعهم
- القيادة العامة للجيش تدعو سكان الأحياء الشمالية الشرقية لمدينة حلب للعودة إلى منازلهم
- رويترز| الجيش السوري يسيطر على حي الجزماتي شرق مدينة حلب
- وحدات من الجيش العربي السوري تسقط عدداً من إرهابيي “جبهة النصرة” بين قتيل ومصاب وتكبدهم خسائر بالعتاد في درعا وريف حمص الشمالي
- حلب: انهيار العدوان والإرهاب… فما المفاعيل؟…العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط
- كيف أفشلت بلدة حضر السورية حلم الصهاينة؟…حسين مرتضى
A CNN interview of several years ago with Asma Assad, the wife of Syrian President Bashar Assad, offers us a fascinating look at how the media score propaganda points against foreign leaders the US has slated for regime change.
In the above video, we get the original interview, basically in its more-or-less unedited form. This took place in 2009–I gather early in the year, when Israel was carrying out its ‘Operation Cast Lead’ attack upon Gaza, a conflict which took the lives of some 1,400 Palestinians and in which the Israelis carried out incendiary white phosphorous attacks in densely populated areas, causing deaths from severe burns.
During the interview Mrs. Assad expresses the concerns any normal human being would express over the rising civilian death toll, and she also discusses at some length the hardships faced by Gazans even when they’re not under attack by Israeli planes, this due to the ongoing embargo. Clearly Mrs. Assad is a woman of great compassion as well as great beauty.
But in the next video, CNN launches what might be thought of as the journalistic equivalent of a homicidal ax attack against her. Fast forward–to the year 2012. Mrs. Assad’s country has been invaded by terrorist proxy armies backed by the US and its allies. And the CNN reporter castigates her unmercifully for not speaking out against efforts by the Syrian Army to defend the country, while at the same time heaping contempt upon her earlier expressions of compassion for the Palestinians of Gaza.
“Inspiring words that today ring deafeningly hollow!” he says, his voice dripping with scorn.
In 2012, media attacks this vitriolic were perhaps a bit less common than they are today, though of course they were out there. You’ll notice the reporter includes the standard, obligatory claim of a hospital bombing, though with, as today, no evidence of such presented. We are presumably expected to believe that Mrs. Assad’s husband, an articulate, soft-spoken ophthalmologist by training, suddenly, upon a whim, picked up a phone and ordered an airstrike on a hospital–simply because he enjoys “committing horrific abuses against Syrian citizens.”
Whenever the US decides to target a foreign leader for regime change, the media are always down with the program. This is the way it’s been for a while. Maybe that will change under Donald Trump. His words spoken before an audience in Cincinnati last night are at least encouraging.
“We will destroy ISIS. At the same time, we will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks,” Trump said.
But as we see, the “ship of state” is more than just the White House. It also includes media gargoyles that spew propaganda like a dragon spews fire. Whether Trump can effectively turn the whole thing around, if he even intends to, remains to be seen.