Syria Daily, Mar 28: Turkey Steps Up Support of Insurgency

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LATEST: Kurds Claim Killing of More Than 60 ISIS Fighters Near Kobanê

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A leaked audio on Thursday revealed that Turkey is considering military intervention in Syria if the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham attacks the tomb of Suleyman Shah, grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, in Aleppo Province.

However, the focus on the story obscures an important development: Ankara has already stepped up its support of the Syrian insurgency.

The clue lies in another important development this week, the insurgent offensive in Latakia Province in western Syria.

Claims that thousands of opposition fighters poured across the border from Turkey into Latakia are unfounded. Far more likely are the movement of supplies for the offensive and assistance with intelligence on Syrian forces. Then there is the Turkish downing of a Syrian warplane, which was in Turkey’s airspace for some time, at the start of the offensive.

That raises an interesting question, two days before local elections in Turkey. Who is backing the support of the insurgency, in an operation that appears to have been long-planned?

The Turkish military? Turkish intelligence services? Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan? His Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu?

All of them?

And would an ISIS attack on Suleyman Shah’s tomb in Aleppo Province be a convenient development to escalate that support into direct Turkish intervention in northern Syria?


Kurds Claim Killing of More Than 60 ISIS Fighters Near Kobanê

A Kurdish website claims that the Kurdish militia YPG has killed more than 60 fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham in northeast Syria in the past week.

The groups have been fighting for days for control of territory near Kobanê, which has been under attack for more than three weeks. ISIS is hoping to cut off the canton from the Afrin and Cizirê areas to the west and east and from Aleppo to the south.

The YPG claims that it has slain more than 200 ISIS fighters since early March.

Insurgents Kill “Dozens” of Pro-Assad Militia in Idlib Province

Insurgents say they have killed dozens of shabiha as they shelled the village of al-Fu’ah near Binnish.

Demonstration in Damascus Suburb of Douma Celebrates Insurgent Victories in Latakia Offensive

Latakia: Insurgents Say They Repulse Regime Counter-Attacks, Inflict Heavy Casualties

Insurgents say they have repelled regime counter-attacks on their attacks in Lattakia Province in western Syria. They say they inflicted casualties on Syrian forces near the village of Nab’ain, taken by insurgents on Thursday, and they struck a convoy of reinforcements.

Insurgents moving into Nab’ain:

Bodies of Syrian forces in a house (Warning — Graphic):

An attacked convoy:

Video of bodies of Assad fighters in a pick-up truck has also been posted.

Friday’s Kafranbel Protest to International Community: “Stop Being Couch Potatoes”

Friday’s protest in Kafranbel in northwest Syria, known for its posters, has a message for the international community:

KAFRANBEL 28-03-14

Syrian Ambassador to UN Attacks Turkish Support for “Terrorist Operations”

Syria’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jafari has claimed again that the “Turkish army is covering the terrorist operations of the armed groups in (the) Kasab area in the coastal province of Lattakia”.

Al-Jafari said he had sent letters to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the President of the Security Council about “the dangerous violations committed by Turkey” as well as Israeli “terrorism” through bombing of Syrian targets and support of insurgent movements.

The Ambassador said he also phoned senior officials at the UN General Assembly and met with UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson on Monday and Tuesday.

State Media Quietly Admits Insurgent Victory in Latakia Offensive

This is State news agency SANA’s sole, confusing comment this morning on insurgent advances in Latakia Province: “A military source said that the army units killed and injured scores of terrorists in Beit Shrouq and in 669-587 points in the northern countryside of Lattakia.”

However, there is an implicit admission of the opposition’s victory in Kassab village, near the Turkish border, in the report of a visit to President Assad by his Armenian counterpart Samvel Farmanyan:

(Farmanyan) expressed on his and his people’s behalf condemnation of terrorist groups attacks backed by Turkey against Kassab city in Lattakia countryside….

Te Armenian parliamentarians affirmed their full support for (Syria’s) efforts to secure the return of people who have been displaced from Kassab and other areas to their houses and home villages.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Syrian-Armenian town’s fate murky after rebel grab
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Mar-28/251529-syrian-armenian-towns-fate-murky-after-rebel-grab.ashx#axzz2wrtCW153

    “When hundreds of residents of the postcard-pretty coastal Syrian village of Kassab fled this week, it bore historic weight: it was the third time since 1900 that ethnic Armenians there felt compelled to run for their lives.

    They left once at the hands of vengeful Turkish neighbors, and later because of Ottoman forces. This time it was Syrian rebels storming into town. It was a heavy blow for the minority community that sees the town as key to preserving the Armenians’ identity in Syria.”

  2. David Ignatius: OBAMA APPEARS READY TO EXPAND COVERT ASSISTANCE TO SYRIAN OPPOSITION

    Don’t get too excited regardless of whether the details are accurate and the sources impeccable. We’ve seen this before. Rebels and the regime, America’s friends and America’s enemies. Khow that when it comes down to Obama making decisions, Hamlet will always play Hamlet.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/david-ignatius-obama-appears-ready-to-expand-covert-assistance-to-syrian-opposition/2014/03/27/06717e6a-b5ff-11e3-8020-b2d790b3c9e1_story.html

    REBELS CLAIM AN AVERAGE OF 60 DEFECTORS JOIN THEIR RANKS DAILY

    I cannot verify the accuracy of that figures but on a nationwide bases basis it seems reasonable.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fab_1392846809

    When a regime is hated by 80 percent of the population, defections are to be expected. Another accelerator, especially among minorities, is growing awareness of how deeply this “terror fighting” regime has collaborated with hated ISIS since March of 2011. By comparison, rebels have always been ISIS’ victim never its ally.

    Assad encouraged ISIS crimes against rebels, against minorities (Alawites included), against pro-democracy activists so he could then sell the line: “the rebels” did it. Everyone in Syria must know by now that for four months rebels have openly done what the regime has always resisted doing except except occasionally and to keep up pretenses—fighting ISIS.

    In the last week an average of 250 Assad fighters have died each day, with Lattakia leading the contributor. Whenever you get KIAs you always lose additional fighters to capture or serious injury and the figure is rarely as low as 40%. Nevertheless, using that conservative figure regime losses would be no less than 350 a day over the last week before including defections. If the 60 defections a day figure is roughly accurate the regime has lost more than 400 fighters per day for about a week now. However, since defectors add to the ranks of the enem, the practical effect would be equivalent to losing well over 3,000 fighters daily for seven days and possibly as many as 3,500 a day.

    So long as rebels force the regime to fight in very unfavorable terrain near Lattakia while launching simultaneous offensives on so many fronts at once, you’d expect such figures. When rebels are finally forced out of Lattakia, they will drop but never to what they once were.

    Rebel gains continue to accelerate in so many places and further large rebel offensives on temprarily quiet fronts are certain. On days when the regime suffers exceptional defeats (the fall of Aleppo for example) regime losses from all causes are likely to be the high hundreds at least and possibly much higher. Given the presence of so many Sunni conscripts and shabbiha fighters in the south, the proportion of defections and POWs is likely to mount should rebels launch a major campaign there.

    When wars are lost, mass surrenders become commonplace. As this regime continues to round up minority youngsters and put them in the front lines with Alawites at their back, look for increased defection from minorities as well. State media can deny such behavior, but relatives, friends and neighbors are not fooled. They learn of it first hand from the most trusted sources.

  3. REGIME IS TAKING HORRIFIC CASUALTIES IN LATTAKIA TODAY

    Fifteen NDF forces were killed trying to break into the town of Annabain ( Source: Al Gharib) Many others died tyring to break into Na’bain from nearby quarries (Source Markito0171). Anyone who doubts it needs to see the graphic items below. The first is a video showing an incredible number of dead Assad fighters inside and outside just one Lattakia house. The second is a photo of a pickup whose bed is full of dead regime fighters. The third shows the remains of a regime convoy ambushed while trying to reach Na’bain.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QNLBJs4Gw0

    https://twitter.com/ammar_alzeer/status/449473195427385344/photo/1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdHvTONbhFM

    MAJOR GAS ATTACK IN HARASTA

    Three dead, 25 other victims of suffocation reported. Source: Paradoxy. Assad knows Obama will only yawn.

  4. The Turkish planning of a false flag operation in Syria to justify military intervention brings into serious question the chemical weapons attacks of last year, and proves that skepticism of the opposition’s propaganda was, and continues to be, well warranted.

    With the Turks also facilitating the latest offensive in Latakia using Chechen and other foreign fighters, and all but declaring a no-fly zone over sovereign Syrian territory, the entire opposition narrative has imploded on itself. At the same time, it proves the principled position of Iran and Russia supporting the Syria against foreign-backed insurgents.

    This proxy war will drag on for a number of years. But with a NATO member now openly supporting Al Qaeda affiliates in attacking ethnic minorities in foreign countries – bringing back dark memories of the Armenian genocide, when in 1915 the Turks massacred over one million Armenians – the proxy war has taken on meaning.

    • It is a huge leap from the activity near the Turkish border to saying the gas attacks in Dasmascus were a false flag. Even the UN has now quietly confirmed the Sarin most have come from regime stockpiles. Nearly 9 months later there is still zero evidence that it is was perpetrated by anyone other than the regime. The entity known to have chemical weapons.

      And as for the “principled” position of Russia and Iran – you are joking surely?

      • “And as for the “principled” position of Russia and Iran – you are joking surely?”

        islamic republic don’t joke, they just lie. And as that wise persian saying puts it “a lie is not a fish bones that will get stuck in your throat”. So they live and rule by lies.

        ps. I think sometimes a lie is actually worst than fish bones, so that expression doesn’t hold.

      • Pak`s false flag operation

        For years he has kept its support of the Iranian hardliner covered trying to influence the discussion.
        Today he is putting away his false flag. That’s a good decision.

  5. Mark ‏@markito0171 4m
    #Syria Rebels announce dead of #SAA Brigade General “Qusay Mohammed Yusuf” after injured in #Aleppo Alleramoun

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