Syria Daily, Oct 27: Assad’s Force Drop Scores of Bombs as Up to 90 Civilians Are Killed

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PHOTO: Victims in Busra al-Sham in Daraa Province in southern Syria on Sunday

LATEST: Video — Islamic State Hostage-Spokesman Cantile Gives A Tour of Kobane

MONDAY FEATURE

Developing: Insurgents Launch Major Attack on Idlib City in Northwest
Lebanon Latest: “Syrian Spillover” — At Least 42 Killed & 100 Wounded in Tripoli in 4 Days

As the Assad regime maintains bombing across Syria — in part to press offensives, in part to hold back insurgent advances — almost 100 civilians were killed on Sunday.

The Local Coordination Committees, who focus on civilian casualties, said it documented 90 deaths, including 10 women and nine children. Of the dead, 41 were in Aleppo Province in the northwest and 23 in Daraa Province in the south.

In the village of Busra al-Sham in Daraa Province, 15 members of a single family were killed in airstrikes.

There is no way to establish the exact number of bombings, although one “monitoring group” seized headlines by spreading social media chatter of 200 in a single day. However, the scale of the Assad regime’s bombardment has been seen in central Syria, where it claimed the strategic town of Morek after up to 90 aerial attacks in a 48-hour period. The Syrian military is now starting sustained attacks on insurgent-held Khan Sheikhoun in southern Idlib Province in northwest Syria, and is continuing to try and break insurgent resistance in the divided city of Aleppo. It is also pounding al-Wa’er in Homs, with its tens of thousands of residents, in an effort to opposition fighters from their last positions in the city.

Not all of the attacks are in support of regime advances. In the south, Syrian forces are trying to hold back insurgents who are continuing to take more of Daraa Province, threatening to cut off the main Damascus highway to Daraa city and to Jordan.

Western and Arab officials, based at an operations center in the Jordanian capital of Amman, said the regime is now using some precision-guided bombs in southern Syria as well as its cruder but deadly barrel bombs.

Insurgent sources said at least 27 people were killed and 54 wounded in the Sheikh Miskeen and Busra al-Sham areas. They said the toll would have been higher if insurgent factions had not evacuated their headquarters during the attacks.


Video: Islamic State Hostage-Spokesman Cantile Gives A Tour of Kobane

The Islamic State’s hostage-turned-spokesman John Cantile gives a guided tour of jihadist-held areas of the Kurdish center of Kobane in northern Syria:

British photojournalist John Cantile was captured by the Islamic State in November 2012, along with US counterpart James Foley, who was executed in August 2014.

In the video, Cantile counters Western “propaganda” — allegedly fed by Kurdish commanders and the White House — by declaring that only “mujahideen” are in the area from which he is speaking: “Even with all their airpower and with all their proxy troops, they cannot defeat the Islamic State.”

He insists the “battle of Kobane is coming to an end”, with the jihadists “mopping up street to street”.

Video: Amid the Attacks in Kobane, Children Enjoy a Playground Swing

A brief glimpse of life away from the war in Kobane in northern Syria — while smoke rises over the town, children play on a swing set (0:55 in the video):

Iraqi Kurds Will Provide Artillery Support But “No Direct Fighting” for Kobane

Iraqi Kurdish forces will not be involved in ground fighting in Kobane in northern Syria, a Kurdish spokesman said on Sunday.

Instead, the peshmerga will provide artillery support for the Syrian Kurds trying to repel the Islamic State.

The Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament have authorized the deployment, and the Turkish Government has agreed to the transit of 150 fighters en route to Kobane.

“Primarily, it will be a back-up support with artillery and other weapons,” Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government spokesman Safeen Dizayee said. “It will not be combat troops as such, at this point anyway.”

Kurdish officials in Kobane said the Islamic State shelled the border post with Turkey overnight but were pushed back by Kurdish fighters.

“Of course they will try again tonight,” said Idris Nassan. “Last night they brought new reinforcements, new supplies, and they are pushing hard.”

State Media: 5 Civilians Killed by Insurgent Mortars and Rockets in Damascus, Aleppo, and Homs

State news agency SANA says five civilians were killed and 45 wounded by insurgent mortars and rockets in Syria’s three largest cities

SANA said two civilians were killed, including a girl, and 24 children were injured by rockets fired near a primary school in the al-Seryan neighborhood of Aleppo.

One person was killed and 12 injured by eight mortar shells in the Mezzeh neighborhood of Damascus. Rockets killed one civilian and injured nine at the southern entrance of Homs city and near al-Talae Park, according to the agency.

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36 COMMENTS

  1. KOBANE

    ISIS leadership ordered Omar Shishani, currently in Iraqi Shingal, to Kobane. Large numbers of fighters being amassed in Raqqa now. –Yury Barmin

    IDLIB

    Looks like the regime lost Tal Mastouma & Ma’asara & Nusra is all over the Governorate building & Industrial area. Several tanks have been taken, a dozen regime forces captured & tens killed.–Paradoxy

    QALAMOUN

    Looks like regime forces got hit hard by Nusra in Talfita, Qalamoun

    RUSSIA & UKRAINE

    Russia Is Trying to End Sanctions and Save Face.

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/russia-is-trying-to-end-sanctions-and-save-face/510066.html

    The scariest part of the above story is the last paragraph when you consider who will be making the key decision: President Neville Chamberlain II of the USA–who also plans to remove all sanctions without going to Congress and in spite of the Consitution’s provisions requiring Senate approval of treaties.

    • That would be a massive development in Idlib if true. What you are describing would mean that not only has the last supply line into the city been effectively cut, but that the city itself is now contested!

      I have to say I am a huge skeptic about these news. This would be way too sudden.

      • It’s so unexpected RT hasn’t even had time to fit it into his ongoing Obama/Assad/Khamenei axis of evil fan-fic yet.

          • The Idlib news is definitely big. It’s usually easy to confirm when parts of a city have fallen as we’ll see airstrikes hitting Idlib.

            Another interesting part is that the regime recently took Morek in an effort to eventually reach these partially besieged regime held areas in Idlib. Now that Idlib city is at least besieged and most likely partially taken that definitely takes the pressure off Khan Shikhoun. The regime will be forced to divert troops to Ariha area to break the siege. I suppose they could continue their Morek strategy in Khan Shikhoun of bombing a place into submission but that strategy takes a long time and Khan Shikhoun is bigger than Morek.

        • Actually, as EA reports, use is flying drones there. Since Obama has show no interest in helping the rebels but is known to be supplying info to the regime and freeing up its air force to concentrate on the rebels, those drones fit right in. Obama won’t attack the rebels outright, since it would look bad politically, but he’ll do all he can intelligence wise to tip off the regime. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has aided and abetted the Assad regime in knocking of leaders of various moderate factions. His behavior in adiding and abetting the bad guys goes beyond neutrality and he thinks everyone can’t see it because it is covert. As for any chance rebels will concentrate on fighting ISIS and ignore the Genocide Regime Obama so much loves, forget it.

          • PS: Given new details provided by EA today, it appears the attack on Idlib may have been long planned. That suggests another reason for the regime’s recess successes elsewhere, aside from the Obama-enabled, super unneutral help he gave Assad in Morek and elsewhere by freeing up the Genocide AIr Force to attack rebels and civilians.

            • @RT

              Definitely appears this has been planned for some time. As it appears that sleeper cells in Idlib and the areas south of the city were awakened. However, the timing appears to be linked to the setbacks in Morek and Northern Hama. It definitely appears that the rebels timed this to alleviate pressure there as well as Northern Aleppo city.

              Taking Idlib city may not be the most optimal target right now and they may leave it besieged for right now. Ariha is probably a more strategic target. If the rebels were able to take Jisr Al-Shighour then they would effectively besiege all the regime held areas in Idlib province. Despite the regime advances into Southern Idlib, the regime are in trouble in Idlib in the long run.

              • James: Latest from Idlib

                An important development in Idlib suggests rebels’ thinking coincides with yours. Cedric Larousse writes: “Most of rebels (mostly Nusra) inside Idlib during night and morning evacuated the city with loyalists soldiers captured. Idlib mostly back under regime control in fact as still sporadic clashes.The city is completely isolated as Mastumeh road cut.” A post from Kaj Metz observes, “Offensive failed? Seems a bit pointless 2 already abandoning their positions so soon,

                I agree with you on priority targets in Idlib. As for the withdrawal, regime will try to paint it as “recapturing” Idlib. Actually its a smart strategy–an adaptation designed to thwart the regime’s airpower. Regime forces inside Idlib have been decimated and isolated. Regime gains nothing by possession and losses are up. Rebel losses are kept down. They were likely to be targeted by Obama as well as Assad, given Al Nusra’s prominent role. We may see more events like this in the future.

                As for Morek, this victory may alleviate pressure there but I think it’s been in the works for weeks not days.

              • @RT –

                No doubt this was planned before regime re-took Morek and it could have even been months as I have heard the police were involved in the rebel sleeper cells. The point I was trying to make is that anytime the rebels appear to be losing they have at least one or two of these planned surprises up their sleeves. It’s possible they were still building up for an even bigger offensive as it would be nice to see them gain control of part of the main East-West Highway around Ariha. However, the loss of Morek might have given them incentive to kick this off. Major rebel losses suck as Morek and Mleiha have always been followed up very soon afterward by a major rebel offensive somewhere else.

              • Another option may be to try to re-take Musebin (See map below). Taking this would also besiege the Qarmeed Brick Factory military base. Since Idlib is a major rebel stronghold unlike Northern Hama I would expect the rebels to continue their success here.

                http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35.843862&lon=36.655464&z=14&m=b

                I’ve been surprised at the general lack of activity in Idlib over the last couple of years. At one point (early on in revolution) there were more rebels in Idlib than any other province. I would think Damascus has the most rebels now or Aleppo.

              • Mastumah is not yet under full control. South of it is the second large camp around Idlib, the Baath Vanguards barracks. This is the likely next target. If that goes, the Brick Factory actually becomes irrelevant and will likely be abandoned.

                Few things I need to correct you (and myself) on, taking Mastumah does not actually besiege Idlib. There are three roads linking Idlib and Ariha, one through Mastumah, another through nearby Faylun and the last one through Kurin. Rebels control Kurin, but the regime still holds Faylun.

                Jisr Ash-Shugur is not relevant for supplying Idlib. Rebels and the army are on each side of the Latakia-Idlib highway there, making it unusable. Supplies for Idlib move through the local roads of Al-Ghab plain before returning on the highway in Mehembel.

                And let me give you some food for thought… Helicopters can reach Idlib from four airfields: Latakia, Nayrab, Abu Duhur and – Hama. Nayrab has been useless for a while, Abu Duhur was recently hit with a TOW and Hama was under attack and heavily damaged last month. From Latakia, helicopters must cross the heights of rebel controlled Jabal al-Akrad mountains, where they would be vulnerable to rebel light weapons. Regime has no transport planes.

                It’s almost as if this was part of a long term strategy, isn’t it?

              • And RT, give it a rest with the Obama bashing. The regime was using minimal air assets against ISIS even before the coalition entered the war, and even when they stepped up their attacks during the battle of Tabqa, they maintained the same level of activity against the rebels.

                Prof. Lucas is very right to doubt SOHR figures, as they are likely trying to sell the story you bought into.

              • @Ivan – Thanks for providing your insight.

                The regime maintaining ground routes to Idlib city conflicts reports that Idlib city is besieged. I wonder if we could get confirmation on that one. I see the roads on the map you mentioned. Besieging Idlib city was undoubtedly the primary goal of the rebel offensive as the skirmishes in Idlib city happened after the rebels took Mastumah and reportedly with some of the equipment taken from Mastumah. If it is true that the regime still has ground access to Idlib city then the offensive was not well planned as the equipment taken from Mastumah should be used to attack any checkpoints along remaining regime access roads to Idlib city. A serious attack on Idlib city should be delayed until all the checkpoints around the city are cleared. This has been the rebel’s recipe for success recently as it prevents the regime from reinforcing and it delay’s the inevitable airstrikes that the civilians will be subjected to when the rebels take a position.

              • on the other hand maybe they try to lure more regime forces to the city since it would weaken other front for an already men power short mercenary terrorist army like ASSad’s

              • @Ivan

                It looks like you are right. Idlib city is not besieged as the regime hold Faylun . It’s also possible that the regime retook Mastumah. It’s possible that this rebel offensive was a little overblown. We’ll have to wait and see.

  2. “The United States does not expect Syrian rebels it plans to train to fight Islamic State militants to also take on President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, but sees them as a crucial part of a political solution to end the war, a senior U.S. official said.”

    Asked whether those rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) units would ultimately go on to fight Syrian government forces, John Allen, the U.S. representative to the coalition, told the Asharq al-Awsat daily:

    “No. What we would like to see is for the FSA and the forces that we will ultimately generate, train and equip to become the credible force that the Assad government ultimately has to acknowledge and recognize.”

    “There is not going to be a military solution here,” he added, in comments published at the weekend on the newspaper’s English language website.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/u-sees-syria-rebels-political-not-military-solution-090814364.html

    • The US has NO intention of getting rid of Assad. I think this is now clear. By the way US drones flying constantly over idlib city since JAN ongoing operations. Obama’s middle east policy must have been thought by monkeys.

  3. WHY NOT JUST SET UP HUNDREDS OF AUSCHWITZ-LIKE CAMPS FOR SUNNIS AND LET OBAMA PLAY THE ROLE OF KAPO?

    In the interests of an efficient permanent “solution” Assad and Khamenei just may as well round up all Sunnis in Iran, Iraq, SYria and Lebanon then get the rest later. Obama could help finance it, provide ransport vehicles, tea and crumpets for the guards, electrified fences and anything else the regime needs

    A “kapo” in Hitler’s concentration camps was a Jewish inmate who freed up Nazi manpower for tasks elsewhere by clubbing his fellow into line in return for staying alive a bit longer.

    Like all analogies, this one has flaws. Obama may not be a Sunni but he is a member of long persecuted minority who has chosen to throw in with the Bad Guys. In that respoect he also resembles the house staffer in the film “Twelve Years a Slave.” A country that stood for democracy and human rights in the Good War, now has a president who aids and abets Iran’s Genocide Regime in Syria and elsewhere. What makes it worse is that he must know of Iran’s endless crimes against Americans going back to 1979 and the marine barracks in Lebanon). Like Putin the latter always acts through proxies to retain “deniability.”

    The IRI sure conned Obama. For four years Obama has covertly assisted Iran and its genocidal forces and not just thereby promoting extreme sectarianism and radicalism while proclaiming his policies would do the exact opposite. Obama couldn’t have done worse if he tired. Yet today he continues to carry out more of the same policies and unlike Bush, keeps the very people responsible for the earlier bungling.

    Another fake Obama is to fight ISIS. Its all for show or to avoid political embarrassment (Kobane for example) while concealing his real intent. If Obama were serious he’d have long since taken the near unanimous advice most of generals and strategists (i.e., if you want to knock off ISIS you need to arm the rebels and get rid of Assad as soon as possible). Instead Obama provides increasingly open support to the very parties that nurtured ISIS in the first place. Can someone explain to me how that makes sense?

    Obama’s lack of empathy for genocide victims is glaringly obvious in his latest scheme: “I’ll give you arms but on condition you fight ISIS exclusively and not the regime that is killing your people.” Can’t Obama grasp that would be like agreeing to arm Jews in WWII on condition they not fight the Nazis but anyone opposing the Nazis?

    This is how Obama increasingly looks to appears to many Americans, regardless of party. It is the overwhelming view of most Sunni’s worldwide., meaning Obama has doubled down on the mistrust of the USA and the West, that will feed terrorism under future president as Obama-like Neville Chamberlain– passes the buck rather than deal with problems intelligently. Ironically, one of Obama’s supposed concerns when he initiated his air only policy was “creating the perception that we’ve become Assad’s AIr Force?” Isn’t it so? Wouldn’t it be so easy to reverse that perception? Why does Mr. Dithers hesitate?

    See my short post below on Idlib for more the many ways in which Obama now appears increasingly un-neutral. He and his defenders here can argue forever that “it isn’t so” but unless present policies are reversed drastically and immediately, the perception will be set in stone if that’ not already the case. What counts what people think they see not what Obama prefers they see. Perceptions are explosive. Sunnis make up 90% of Muslims worldwide and it is clear that Obama has now allied with Iran in the latter’s War on Sunnis.

    Obama’s claim that he is doing this in hopes of a political solution afterwards is bullsh”t. Get rid of the regime NOW and not only will a political solution become more possible but it will come more quickly and be more palatable.

    I’d bet that, after initial anxieties the majority of Alawites would be pleased with that as well compared to what they are likely to face under Obama’s radicalizing, years long scheme. He won’t even be around before it can bear fruition and no Obama successor will stick with his boneheaded “Appease Iran and Make Jews and Nazis Live Happily Together Fantasy.” An Obama-imposed provisional government created by such means will be stillborn, lacking legitimacy from the start. Only one created by by the Syrian people at the grass roots level can do the job. No concept could be more alien to Obama than the idea of winning hearts and minds as the best way to peace.

    When Obama’s term expires, many discredited moves will be reversed but much cannot be undone, especially the sectarianism, radicalism and mistrust this man created. In many respects he is more guilty than any of the parties who carried out genocidal schemes. Obama the Failure was the one and only man in a position to put a stop to it on several occasions earlier.

    Even now Obama continues to blow it with the same old crap. His planned giveaway on sanctions (Obama intends to skirt Constitution’s requirement for Senate approval of treaties) will be irreversible and damaging. Iran will spend its Obama-supplied cash trove as Putin would, financing endless trouble via proxy militias.

  4. THREE GREAT ARTICLES ARE A HARBINGER OF CRITICISM TO COME,

    You ain’t seen nothing!

    Everyone is catching on to how Iran and Assad continue to reap massive gains from unpopular Obama’s moves. Obama is doing for both what Chamberlain and Dedalier did for Hitler at Munich but far more so with repeat after repeat. They don’t call him “No Learn” without good reason. The amazing thing is that these horrific moves are intentional and promoted constantly by that horrific inner circle around him. You know who they are.

    Article: IRAN’S SHADOW WAR IN IRAQ

    The U.S.-backed fight against Sunni extremists is doing the work of Iran in Baghdad.

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/10/27/how-irans-shadow-war-in-iraq-exploits-the-islamic-state-siege
    .

    Article: IRAN’S “DIVINE VICTORIES.

    Iran is secretly in love with the US

    Opening paragraph: In the name of fighting terrorism, and while the international coalition strikes ISIS, Iran has been achieving “divine victories” across the region. The most obvious one is in Yemen, but more discrete victories are underway in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Without a doubt, the Obama administration has noticed this trend, but the victories do not seem to be troubling the US. Iran’s regional interests, strangely, do not contradict Washington’s goals, which are only alienating the Sunni majority in a region torn with sectarian hatred. This cannot end well.

    https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commentaryanalysis/564295-irans-divine-victories

    Article: STAYING OUT OF SYRIA

    Why the United States Shouldn’t Enter the Civil War—But Why It Might Anyway

    Excerpt: “the balancing act is proving difficult. The United States could soon face a choice between appearing to provide tacit support to Syrian government forces and joining the fight against them.”

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/142295/steven-simon/staying-out-of-syria

  5. From Politico: TEAM OF BUNGLERS

    Are Susan Rice and Chuck Hagel equal to today’s new national-security challenges?

    Unsurprisingly, the White House and Obama did not even consult with the military in devising their plan to “fight ISIS.” The same old incompetent crew is in control, even if well over 90% of military and security analyists disagree with them. The good ones (Hillary, Petreus, Panetta, Gates) have been pushed out the door and the Incompetents own Obama’s all-too-willing ear.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/susan-rice-chuck-hagel-team-of-bumblers-112208.html#ixzz3HN6Wrfj7

  6. Hold the Presses!!! Unconfirmed Big News

    WOW! SYRIA’S TIGER IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT

    Jump for joy! That would be a nice morale buster for the regime, Got two sources on it now.

    First came this tweet from Pardoxy.

    Reports that the regime has arrested the Hama Military Security chief for conspiring to assassinate Col. Suhail Hasan this morning,

    Now comes this from Thomas Van Linge:

    “acc to reports Shuhail Hassan, leader of the #SAA tigers is in critical condition in the hospital (1) ,,,after a failed assassination attempted on him at 00:30 Monday night as he left on his motorcade from the #Hama military airport

    MASTUMAH, NEAR IDLIB

    Rebels take control of Tel Al-Mastumah barrier some km south of Idlib city- seized 2 tanks &
    destroyed 3 –Markito0171

  7. John Cantile a man that entered Syria illegally to support the rebels, which then kidnapped him and sold him like livestock to IS. Now he is promoting IS to squezze a few more days out of his life.

    he went in supporting terrorists, and terrorists will murder him when they are done milking the propaganda potential.

    And we are supposed to be sad for this guy?

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