Arkiv för januari, 2018

31 jan – Syrisk fredskongress i Sotji

1 511 delegater till den syriska nationella dialogens kongress hade på tisdag morgon anlänt till till den ryska kurorten Sotji vid Svarta havet.
Mötet som bland annat kommit till stånd genom Moskvas fredsansträngningar och arbete för att återställa det civila livet i Syrien förväntas ge en ny impuls till dialog mellan olika delar av det syriska samhället för att bestämma Syriens utveckling efter kriget, skapa förutsättningar för att återställa landets enhet och bidra till en politisk lösning av krisen av syrierna själva, i enlighet med FN:s säkerhetsråds resolution 2254 – ‘Mistrust is still high’ – Russia’s Special Envoy for Syria

Commenting on the achievements of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress Russia’s Special Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said that, ‘the level of mistrust between the parties is still rather high,’ in Sochi on Tuesday.
“Still exists an armed radical opposition that is trying to ‘put a stick into the wheels’ of the regime of cessation of hostilities in the de-escalation zones as well as organising provocations in different districts of Syria,” noted the diplomat.
He also added that “a big delegation of more than 80 people that arrived from Ankara today was obviously in a destructive mood”, saying that its aim was possibly to disrupt the Congress, “in order to demonstrate to the international community and to some of the individuals that Russian efforts for political settlement met a dead-end.” – Damascus International Airport comes under missile attack as Sochi politicians return

Damascus International Airport has come under rocket attack at the exact same time that Syrian participants from the Sochi talks in Russia were returning.

According to the latest reports, nobody was killed or injured in the attack and most of rockets missed the primary airstrips. Overall, negligible damage has been done to the airport that may effect it ongoing operation.

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27 jan

Alexander Mercouris – First sign of end to Afrin crisis as Kurds call on Assad for help

Amidst Turkish offensive bogs down in Afrin and with policy chaos in Washington route opens for Moscow to broker a compromise – Syrian Army Finds Terrorists’ Modern Equipment of European Origin – Russian MoD – Syrian Forces Found Militants’ Modern Radio-Electronic Equipment Near At Tanf – Russian Military – Syrian army finds Israeli-made mines, chemicals in eastern Dayr al-Zawr – Exposing “The Last Men in Aleppo” – FSA Terrorist Psyop and Oscar Nominated Propaganda Campaign – Syria accuses US of supporting ISIS

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and head of the Syrian government delegation to the intra-Syrian talks Bashar al-Jaafari has accused the United States of supporting Islamic State (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia).
“How can a country like the United States, which has given birth to Islamic State, which has been supporting and defending Islamic State, which continues to fight for Islamic State, a country, which has been violating Syria’s sovereignty by its military presence in our country and negating international laws and conventions, how can a country, which has the blood of the Syrian people on its hands, speak about a political solution and Syria’s future?,” he said on Friday after a two-day meeting on Syria at the United Nations office in Vienna.
He voiced criticism of each of the five nations (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia and Jordan), which had come out with an unofficial document on Syrian settlement at a meeting in Washington on January 12.

Alexander Mercouris – ISIS survives because the US will not unite with Russia to destroy it

Despite massive defeats ISIS still has 8,000 to 11,000 fighters scattered across Syria and remains a threat – Syria: Terroristene taper gradvis i Idlib

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25 jan – 8,000 to 11,000 ISIS militants still present across Syria – estimates

The fact that all these areas are dislocated from each other is important for future operations against them and represents a major improvement over previous years whereby the terrorist group held contiguous swathes of territory across the country that were centered along the Euphrates valley.
At the same time, the sight of isolated ISIS pockets on a map can create a false sense of security as it overlooks the fact that many thousands of fighters are still present within them. – Kurdish government officially calls on Syrian Army to protect Afrin from Turkey

The official Kurdish administrative bureaucracy that runs Syria’s Afrin region has called on the government in Damascus to protect the region and its people from the ongoing assault against it by Turkey-led forces. – US airstrike kills 15 civilians in Deir Ezzor

In what has become somewhat of a common affair in Syria, a US airstrike has once again struck a civilian area, indiscriminately killing innocent civilians in Deir Ezzor. – Russia: US seeks Syria breakup, not political resolution of crisis

Speaking at a news briefing on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova cited a recent speech by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at Stanford University as a proof of Washington’s hostile policy towards Syria.
”In the wake of US Secretary of State’s speech in Stanford and reports from US military sources about the creation of some armed groups under the US patronage to guard the border in northern Syria, populated mostly by Kurds, the new US strategy looks in no way other than a policy of dismembering that country,” Zakharova said.

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23 jan

Alexander Mercouris – Sowing war and chaos: US continues meddling in Syria through the Kurds

Doubling down on the fixation with ousting Assad produces another US foreign policy disaster

Firstly the US announced that it intended to keep 2,000 US troops stationed (illegally) in Syria indefinitely, supposedly to prevent a ‘vacuum’ emerging there.
In reality the true number of US troops in Syria is much greater, and it is the presence of these troops which by preventing the restoration of the Syrian government’s authority across the whole of Syria is threatening to create a ‘vacuum’ there. Most, though not all, these US troops appear to be based in northern Syria, in territory controlled by the YPG.
Then the US announced that it was building up a 30,000 strong ‘border force’ in northern Syria, which it was clear would be built up around the Kurdish militia, the YPG.
The results have been very much as I predicted in my article of 6th October 2017.
Firstly, the US game with the Kurds in Syria has outraged the major regional powers: Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.
Turkey’s President Erdogan has now launched his army and air force against the Syrian Kurds whom the US has been backing in their north Syrian enclave of Afrin.
In order to launch this attack Erdogan needed Moscow’s permission, the Russians having previously positioned military observers in Afrin.
A Turkish military delegation accordingly visited Moscow and obtained Moscow’s permission, resulting in the withdrawal of the Russian military observers from Afrin and the unimpeded operation of the Turkish air force there.
The Russians for their part attempted to persuade the Kurds to hand over Afrin to the Syrian government as a way of averting the Turkish attack. The Kurds, counting on US protection, however refused, with the result that they have quickly discovered that the US protection that they had counted on is nowhere to be seen, so that they now find themselves facing the Turkish army on their own.

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