ISIS/ISIL conflict in Syria/Iraq (No OpEd, No Politics)


Jura

General
I noticed in the morning the ТАСС announcement
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of the Russian Marines being rotated, which should finish until the end of this year; no numbers given, so I didn't post, but since now I saw pictures from Belbek ...
officially
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which I recall from the Spring of 2014 when Russians tricked me by changing the feed of a web-camera which I posted LOL!

more of these at:
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FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
A significant victory the more big from a year for Iraq and Coalition, now operations go to N-W of Ramadi toward Hit and going up the Euphrates.

Mosul close to the front can be also a big objective.

No rest for the devil in anyway !


Iraqi Security Forces hoist the Iraqi flag atop a government building in Ramadi. The Iraqis announced today that Iraqi Security Forces have retaken the city of
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from Daesh terrorists.

From a UAV
Iraq Army officially declares victory in Ramadi, ISF raise Iraqi flag in the city
Irak.jpg



"We congratulate the Iraqi Security Forces for their continued success against ISIL in Ramadi. The clearance of the government center is a significant accomplishment and is the result of many months of hard work by the Iraqi Army, the Counter Terrorism Service, the Iraqi Air Force, local and federal police, and tribal fighters.
The coalition has provided steadfast support to the Iraqi government to... enable them to fight and win against ISIL. Coalition support included more than 630 airstrikes; training several of the Iraqi Army brigades, CTS units and federal and local police forces who fought in Ramadi; providing specialized engineering equipment to clear IEDs and VBIEDS; and providing advice and assistance at multiple Iraqi Army headquarters including the 16th Iraqi Army Division, Counter Terrorism Service, the Anbar Operations Command, the Iraqi Ground Forces Command and the Combined Joint Operations Command.
Today’s success is a proud moment for Iraq.
The coalition will continue to support the Government of Iraq as they move forward to make Ramadi safe for civilians to return and as the military moves to fight ISIL in other areas of the country."

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And this improved ribbon bridge played an important role for retake Ramadi from the South

U.S. Army Soldiers with the 814th Multi-Role Bridging Company out of Fort Polk, La., and Iraqi engineers with the 15th Iraqi Army Division, assemble an improved ribbon bridge as part of Building Partner Capacity training in Baghdad, Nov. 20, 2015. This training will provide the Iraqi soldiers with freedom of maneuver and additional options for conducting operations. With the proper equipment and training, the IA will no longer be restricted to roads and will be able to cross any size river during operations. On Dec. 22, 2015, ISF used this exact bridge to cross the Euphrates River during their assault toward Ramadi, Iraq's city center
 

Jura

General
yesterday I saw pictures from the ongoing swaps (which I don't understand, so I waited) ... here's the NYT story:
Evacuations Aim to Ease Path to Talks in Syria War
Several hundred wounded militants and their families, from opposing sides of the war in
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, were evacuated from besieged areas on Monday in a complex deal that involved busing and flying them to neighboring countries.

The deal, carried out under the auspices of the
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and the International Committee of the Red Cross, was the latest attempt to strike local agreements to calm the conflict before planned peace talks next month.

The exchange allowed wounded fighters and civilians to leave areas where they had been trapped: in Zabadani, the last rebel-held, mostly Sunni town along the Lebanese border; and the isolated, government-held, mostly Shiite towns of Fouaa and Kfarya in Idlib Province, which is held mainly by Sunni Islamist insurgent groups.

The logistics seemed to come off smoothly, despite the challenges of coordination and moving through hostile territory and crossing the borders of
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, which backs insurgents in Syria, and
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, whose most powerful faction, the Shiite militant group
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, supports the Syrian government of President
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.

Yet deep questions remained about the deal’s context and implications. It was unclear what would become of the many civilians and fighters remaining in the towns, as well as in Madaya, a town neighboring Zabadani that is besieged by pro-government forces, and was not included in the deal.

Nisrine, a schoolteacher reached in Madaya, said she was thrilled that her husband, Ahmad, was among the fighters evacuated from Zabadani to Turkey for treatment, but concerned about what would happen to her and their 9-year-old son.

“Happiness is mixed with heartbreak,” she said. “We’re not together.” She added that her husband was “delighted but worried about us at the same time; we are still besieged and facing starvation.”

Southern Beirut, where Hezbollah is popular, was in a celebratory mood on Monday night as fighters arrived from the Shiite villages. Hezbollah has sent thousands of fighters to Syria and the organization’s flags lined the airport road.

There were concerns that the agreement could eventually amount to a swap of ethnic populations, moving Shiites from Fouaa and Kfarya to friendlier territory in Lebanon or government-held parts of Syria, and moving Sunnis to Turkey or to insurgent-held areas of Syria.

Population exchange was not officially part of the deal, which was initially struck between Hezbollah and rebels in Zabadani months ago, only to be thrown into turmoil by Russia’s unexpected military intervention on the side of Mr. Assad.

In any case, that the complex operation could happen at all was impressive after years of hostility and broken accords.

More than 300 people left Fouaa and Kefraya on buses to Turkey, while 123 left Zabadani for Lebanon. The convoys were escorted by ambulances and Red Cross and Red Crescent workers.

After medical checks, the rebels evacuated to Lebanon were flown to Turkey, and the pro-government fighters evacuated to Turkey were flown to Lebanon. The wounded are to be treated in hospitals, and then they will be allowed to enter Syrian territory that is presumably friendlier for them.

The deal comes amid efforts to restart talks between the Syrian government and its opponents, set to start next month but without a clear basis for progress. The United Nations envoy, Staffan de Mistura, has rested his hopes on a set of local cease-fires he hopes could build to a nationwide truce.

But those efforts have come amid continuing atrocities: heavy bombardment of civilian areas by government and allied warplanes, and indiscriminate attacks on civilians by insurgents.

Earlier this month, a local cease-fire ended years of standoff in Waer, an outlying area of the central city of Homs, the last pocket of resistance in that city that had once been a hub of the rebellion that began in 2011.

Fighters not wanting to observe the truce were given safe passage to the north. Those willing to comply remained with many of their weapons, with additional phases of the deal to be carried out if the cease-fire holds.

Another deal was supposed to take place in southern Damascus but was put off after an airstrike on Friday
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.
source:
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Jura

General
recent from Reuters:
Strike that killed Syrian rebel chief complicates peace talks push: U.S.
Russian air strikes like the one that killed a top Syrian rebel leader last week send the wrong message to groups engaged in a political dialogue to end the conflict and complicate efforts to begin negotiations, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

Syrian rebel chief Zahran Alloush, the leader of Jaysh al Islam who commanded thousands of fighters in the Damascus suburbs, was killed on Friday in an air strike that rebel sources said was carried out by Russian warplanes.

Jaysh al Islam was a participant in the Riyadh conference where Syrian opposition groups agreed on common aims for proposed political negotiations to end the country's civil war and chose a former Syrian prime minister to represent them in the dialogue.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the United States did not provide support to Alloush's group and had concerns about its "behavior on the battlefield," but noted that Jaysh al Islam had fought Islamic State rebels and was participating in the political dialogue to end Syria's civil war.

"So the strike on Alloush and others in Jaysh al Islam and other opposition groups do in fact complicate efforts to bring about meaningful political negotiations and a nationwide ceasefire," Toner said in response to questions at a State Department briefing. "We need progress on both these efforts in the coming weeks."

"It doesn't send the most constructive message to carry out a strike like that," he added, noting that the United States hoped the attacks would not reverse progress toward negotiations.

Asked if Washington had raised the issue with Moscow, Toner said there had been conversations between the two sides but he was not certain whether that specific issue had been discussed directly.

The U.N. mediator for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, plans to convene representatives of the Syrian government and a broad spectrum of Syrian opposition groups for negotiations in Geneva on Jan. 25.

De Mistura's spokesman announced the timing for the meeting on Saturday, just a day after Alloush was killed. The statement urged participants not to be deterred by developments on the ground.

Toner said the United States would "encourage the opposition to fully participate in this process" and not to be swayed by the air strike that killed Alloush.
source:
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Jura

General
Dec 12, 2015
big story in Russian Internet right now is what's summarized by Reuters
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Putin says Russia backs Free Syrian Army alongside Assad troops

here's the text right from the Kremlin:
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and not even "Cassad"
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or "El Murid"
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claimed the statements were "out of context" or something; Mr. Putin said what Reuters quoted above ("помощь в вооружении, боеприпасах и материальных средствах" for them, them being
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from the same paragraph of his speech).
now
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Russian General Staff: Enlisting Syrian opposition in fight against IS pays off
According to the General Staff, more than 150 units of opposition are fighting against Islamic State in Syria apart from government forces
MOSCOW, December 28./TASS/. The activity of the Russian Defense Ministry to cut off financing to Islamic State and the involvement of "patriotically minded opposition" in fight against terrorists bears fruit, Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoy, the head of the General Staff’s main operational directorate, told journalists on Monday. "The Russian Defense Ministry intends to continue work aimed at uniting efforts of all forces interested in Syria’s liberation from international terrorists," said Rudskoy quoted on the ministry’s website. In earlier remarks on Monday, the general spoke about support of Russian warplanes of the Syrian opposition forces’ offensive on Raqqa, which is considered to be the capital of the Islamic State terrorist organization. "An offensive has also been mounted in other directions. With the support of the Russian aviation, units of the Syrian democratic army under the command of Ayman Al-Ghanim conduct an offensive on the IS capital — the city of Raqqa," Rudskoy said. Units of "patriotically minded opposition" have also achieved success in other regions of Syria, the General Staff reports.

According to the General Staff, more than 150 units of opposition are fighting against Islamic State in Syria apart from government forces. Earlier, the ministry voiced its readiness to support "patriotically minded opposition". In particular, General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said Russian warplanes were daily making 30 to 40 airstrikes in support of the opposition. Russia’s aerospace forces launched a military operation in Syria on September 30 after the Federation Council unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request for the use of the armed forces against terrorists outside the territory of Russia. On the same day, Russia’s Aerospace Forces started to deliver the first pinpointed airstrikes against the militants’ positions. The Russian aviation grouping comprises more than 50 aircraft and helicopters, including the Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M bombers, Su-25 attack aircraft, Su-30SM fighters and Mil Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. From November 17, the Russian aviation group in Syria switched to delivering massive strikes against militants, including with the involvement of strategic bombers. As the Russian Defence Ministry reported, Russia’s air grouping has focused on destroying terrorist-controlled oil extraction, storage, transportation and refining facilities. The airstrikes are conducted at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The time limit of the operation will depend on the results of the fight against the Islamic State group, which is banned as a terrorist organization in Russia.
 

Jura

General
Dec 19, 2015
long time ago

... and later Mahin was retaken, then lost again by Government Forces:
https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/is...no-oped-no-policis.t6913/page-293#post-379026
and today I saw conflicting reports of:
  • ISIL pushing for
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    and
  • Government Forces pushing back for Mahin
I looked at the map of the area:
and it's roughly ten miles in each of the intervals, from left to right: "M5" (its Damascus - Homs stretch; Government-controlled) - Sadad - Mahin (the red point) -
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(ISIL-controlled)
now I noticed "... Maheen has been liberated from the ISIL. ..." etc. in
URGENT: Another Major Blow to ISIL; Syrian Army Takes Two Towns in Homs
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can anybody confirm?
 

Blackstone

Brigadier
I'm surprised Russia said it will consider a new Syrian government without Assad. Wonder what changed, too much American pressure?
 

GreenestGDP

Junior Member
I'm surprised Russia said it will consider a new Syrian government without Assad. Wonder what changed, too much American pressure?

Check the news source... ...
It is the malicious Reuters.

Reuters as usual is lying again and again.

Who is the unnamed diplomat quoted by Reuters ?

It is the usual old replay of spewing Divide--and--Conquer poisonous tactics again.
 

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