Syria Daily: 5 White Helmets Rescuers Killed in Russia-Regime Attack

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PHOTO: Claimed image of fires and smoke from shelling of regime-held west Aleppo on Monday


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UPDATE 1400 GMT: Footage of another regime airstrike on an opposition-held area of Aleppo city on Tuesday:


ORIGINAL ENTRY: Amid the killing of more than 100 civilians in Aleppo by Russian and regime aircraft since last Thursday, Syria’s State media is claiming the deaths of 16 people from “Jabhat al-Nusra shelling” of regime-held areas of the city.

Citing police and military sources, State news agency SANA said 86 people were wounded.

Jabhat al-Nusra has no presence in Aleppo city, which has been divided between the opposition and the regime since July 2012. However, rebel factions and pro-Assad forces have been in ongoing battles in the west of the city, in districts such as al-Rashideen.

State media said areas hit by shells and rockets included al-Sulaimaniyeh, al-Jamiliyeh, Mogambo, and al-Ashrafiyeh. Pro-Assad activists circulated names and photos of victims.

Russian and regime bombing of opposition parts of the city eased yesterday with the Local Coordination documenting only seven deaths in Aleppo on Monday, most in the Jazmati district.

Russian Attack Kills 5 White Helmets Rescuers

However, a Russian attack on Atareb, 20 km (12 miles) west of the city, killed five White Helmets civil defense volunteers. The White Helmets said their building was hit by five airstrikes and a missile — activists said the latter was a Russian-made Tochka short-range ballistic missile.

The White Helmets statement:

The first airstrike hit the northern corner of the Centre prompting volunteers to move to the makeshift shelter dug within the Centre; the second hit the north-western side of the Centre; the third directly struck the shelter killing 5 volunteers: Ahmad Tareq Al Abdalla, Khalid Mohamad Bashar Khatib, Ahmad Taher, Hussein Ismail Haj Orabi, and Hamdo Haj Ibrahim.

This same strike resulted in medium and light injuries among the rest of the team who were present.

The fourth airstrike destroyed the Centre’s buildings and dormitories, and the final strike targeted the garage for ambulances and fire trucks, which is located in the middle of the Centre, completely destroying all the Centre’s vehicles.

45 minutes after these airstrikes, a ballistic missile was fired carrying cluster bombs, from the regime’s Defense Labs south of Aleppo towards the Centre, falling outside the Centre.

The scene of the attack:

ATAREB BOMBING 25-04-16

ATAREB BOMBING 25-04-16

Footage of one of the Russian airstrikes:

The escalation of violence in and near Aleppo — as well as regime bombing and clashes in other areas of Syria — has effectively buried the February 27 cessation of hostilities, brokered by the US and Russia.

Political talks continue in Geneva, overseen by UN envoy Staffan de Mistura, but the opposition-rebel bloc formally suspended participation last week.

The head of the regime delegation, UN Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari, said after two meetings with de Mistura on Monday that the envoy was considering “amendments” which are “an integral part of this paper”.

President Assad and the delegation have already ruled out any discussion of Assad’s future or of a transitional governing authority, a central element of international proposals since 2012.

De Mistura has reportedly indicated the current round of talks will conclude on Wednesday.

Jafari claimed that Monday’s attacks on regime areas of Aleppo were linked to the opposition-rebel suspension of discussions and that they were ordered by Saudi and Turkish intelligence services.


Iranian Commmander: Escalation of Forces Will Continue

The deputy commander of the Iranian Army has said that Tehran’s recent escalation of forces in Syria — including the first deployment of Army units alongside Revolutionary Guards — will continue.

General Abdolrahim Mousavi said on Monday, “Since the start of the conflict in Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Armed Forces voiced readiness for deployment and pressured their commanders to be dispatched to the region.”

Mousavi assured that the Supreme Leader had agreed with the troop escalation and emphasized, “This will continue as long as necesary.”

Iran has provided essential military support to the Assad regime throughout Syria’s five-year conflict. However, in autumn 2015, Tehran stepped up its involvement, in coordination with Russian airstrikes, in offensive against opposition-held territory.

Facing rebel pressure near Aleppo city, the Islamic Republic announced further deployments, including special forces, earlier this month. However, Iranian-led forces suffered defeats on the south Aleppo frontline as they tried to retake territory regained by the rebels and the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra.


British Government Rejects Proposal for 3000 More Child Refugees, Most from Syria

The British Government has rejected a proposal by MPs to admit 3000 additional children — most from Syria — into the United Kingdom.

MPs voted against the initiative by 294 to 276 on Monday after the Home Office told members of the ruling Conservative Party that Britain is doing enough to help Syrian children who are displaced inside Syria and in camps in neighboring countries.

See also Syria Analysis: British Government’s Cynical “We’ll Take 3,000 Refugee Children by 2020”

An amendment to the immigration bill would have allowed in 3,000 unaccompanied refugee minors who have made their way to mainland Europe.

The measure was introduced by Alf Dubs, a Labor member of the House of Lords who was a beneficiary of the Kindertransport, the government-backed program that accepted child refugees from Germany just before World War II.


Saudis: Obama’s Additional 250 Troops to Syria is “Window Dressing”

President Obama confirmed on Monday that the US is sending another 250 troops to Syria, raising the total to 300.

US special forces and other troops have supported the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in an advance against the Islamic State in northeastern Syria since last autumn.

But a “senior member of the Saudi royal family” dismissed the additional US troops as “window dressing” in Syria’s five-year conflict.

Obama said in Hanover, Germany, before a meeting with European leaders, “They’re not going to be leading the fight on the ground, but they will be essential in providing the training and assisting local forces as they continue to drive ISIL [the Islamic State] back.”


Claimed Video: Aid Convoy, En Route to Northern Homs, Hit by Pro-Assad Forces

Claimed footage of an aid convoy struck by fire from pro-Assad forces as it travelled to Rastan in northern Homs Province on Monday:

A driver and three civilians were wounded in the attack.

Last week, a convoy of 65 trucks delivered the first assistance to Rastan, in an opposition-held pocket of towns and villages in northern Homs, since 2012.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. Compliments to Assad and the russian bald dwarf. Hitting white helmets HQ……..they must be very dangerous terrorists. Might run you over with their ambulances.

    • The shrapnel has pierced the steel chassis of the truck as if it were moving through butter. But of course they are “terrorists” so its ok.

    • @caligola – Absolutely a new low for the Russians even if it was the regime who bombed them. Syrian Civil Defense workers are true heroes and are absolutely the one side of the conflict where there should be no international controversy over their value. btw – They work in both the regime controlled side of Aleppo and rebel controlled side. This is about the moral equivalent of shooting Santa Claus on his descent down the chimney.

      https://www.whitehelmets.org/

      • White helmets operate in Regime held Aleppo?Every pro regime tweep i watch says they are Al qaeda clean up crew.They were ecstatic to see the head of group denied entry to US saying it proves they are terrorists.

        • Plenty of examples of white helmets helping regime soldiers out of rubble. The example I found was a regime soldier pulled out of rubble in a rebel bombardment of western aleppo. I’m not sure why you put a question mark on that point. No justification for attacks on civil service workers.

              • I can find with a quick look,that white helmets have pulled out SAA and allegedly Iranian and Hezbo men from beneath collapsed structures.After the rebels have captured regime held areas.My only query was whether they operate in regime held areas.

          • @caligola
            Maybe you mean because pro regime tweeps say these things about white helmets i agree with it?No.My question is,if white helmets operate in regime held Aleppo,pulling civis and soldiers from bombed areas,why do they say that they are terrorists?

  2. Update:
    .
    #International: “A Swiss tanker reportedly transported oil shipments from #Russia to #Syria three times last year according to RTS” – michaelh992
    .
    Swiss tanker my arse, it’s a Russian front/dummy-corporation to circumvent an international embargo.
    .
    #National: Captured documents reveal that Assad colluded with Daeesh in an oil deal that earned them (ie Daeesh) $40m a month.
    .
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/25/isils-deal-with-bashar-al-assad-and-the-40m-a-month-oil-profits/
    .
    A few days ago Kazemi was wondering why and how Daeesh could mysteriously launch offensives against the YPG simultaneously on the same day the NDF began battling YPG in Qamishli well now he may have an answer. They both (ie regime and Daeesh) occasionally collaborate with each other though what should one expect from a pair of devils who have complete disregard for the lives of the average Syrian Sunni Arab/Kurd/Turkmen civilian.
    .
    #Aleppo: 1) Devilish (ie cruel and devious) tricks from Daeesh “IS plant mines around (rebel hold) Dudiyan ” – markito0171
    .
    Am sure the rebels will soon re-pay the favour.
    .
    2) Between a rock and a hard place “ISIS massing to attack Mar’e in north & Assad/IRGC massing to attack the west. Rebels will have to decide which is more important.” – NorthernStork
    .
    #Hama: More guerilla style ambushes in Hama province? “After destroying a Regime vehicle on the Salamiya-Homs road Opposition engaged their forces with small arms and withdrew without loss” – CombatChris1

  3. #1: Car bomb eliminates Shia Genocide Checkpoint near Mosque used for political purposes.
    .
    The Sayyeda Zeinab mosque in Damascus is a political target which deserves to be under attack since
    protecting the mosque against a non-existent threat has been a key excuse used to justify Shia intervention for the purpose of Sunni genocide. It one is going to be accused of a crime, why not do so? And if the mosque has become more of a political tool than a religious establishment there’s no grounds for complaint.
    .
    https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/NewsReports/566914-car-bomb-outside-damascus-sayyeda-zeinab
    .
    #2: Only an active NATO can halt ‘Moscow menace’: Polish FM
    .
    Yet Putin-loving Trump would eliminate both NATO and the EU to please Moscow.
    .

      • Putin himself is an anachronism and the most important thing: he is not looking for wars –
        he is waging wars – one after the other.
        ======================================================================
        War in Abkhazia (1991-1993) Russia
        Abkhazia Georgia

        War of Transnistria
        (1992) Transnistria
        Russia

        East Prigorodny Conflict
        (1992) Russia

        Civil War in Tajikistan
        (1992–1997) Tajikistan
        Russia

        Georgian Civil War
        (1991–1993) Georgia (country) Georgia
        Russia

        First Chechen War
        (1994–1996) Russia

        War of Dagestan
        (1999) Russia

        Second Chechen War
        (1999–2009) Russia

        Russo-Georgian War
        (2008) Russia

        North Caucasus Insurgency
        (2009–) Russia Caucasus Emirate (from 2015) Ongoing

        Annexation of Crimea
        (2014- ) Russia Ukraine Ongoing
        Russian annexation of Crimea

        War in Donbass Ongoing
        (2014–) Russia
        Donetsk
        Luhansk Ukraine

        Intervention in Syria Ongoing
        (2015–) Russia
        Syrian Government
        together with shia jihadis Hezbollah & Iranian army & Iraqis shia militias Ongoing

        • 1..In the wake of events in Ukraine, NATO has turned its attention towards countries that border the Russian Federation — attempting to boost its quick-response capabilities in Europe. The alliance created a 5,000-strong rapid reaction Spearhead Force, which will be capable of deploying across the continent within 48-hours of a military incursion. There are several thousand NATO troops in western Poland, for the first deployment test.
          =
          2..BRITAIN is preparing to deploy close to 1,000 elite troops and more than 300 armoured vehicles along Europe’s border with Russia, in a show of military might aimed at unsettling Putin’s vast war machine.
          =
          3..The U.S. military will be sending dozens of tanks, Bradley armored fighting vehicles and self-propelled howitzers to allied countries in the Baltics and Eastern Europe in response to Russian actions in the Ukraine. The equipment, enough to arm one combat brigade, will be positioned in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland.
          =
          4..The US and Poland have deployed US heavy weapons in eastern Europe in response to Russian expansionism and sabre-rattling in the region in what represents a radical break with post-cold war military planning. Washington and Warsaw were in negotiations about the permanent stationing of US battle tanks and other heavy weaponry in Poland and other countries in the region as part of Nato’s plans to develop rapid deployment “Spearhead” forces aimed at deterring Kremlin attempts to destabilise former Soviet bloc countries now entrenched inside Nato and the EU.
          =
          The government in Moscow uses instability alone to selfish purposes: it wants to demonstrate with the means of war at any price that Russia is more than a regional power. Nato is the only way to convince Putin to operate a factual and rational policy.

          • 1..In the wake of events in Ukraine, NATO has turned its attention towards countries that border the Russian Federation — attempting to boost its quick-response capabilities in Europe.

            Now if Russia had done the same, it would be regarded as provocation and aggression.

            2..BRITAIN is preparing to deploy close to 1,000 elite troops and more than 300 armoured vehicles along Europe’s border with Russia, in a show of military might aimed at unsettling Putin’s vast war machine.

            Again, blatant aggression which shows it is Britain that is looking to start a war. Same with points 3 and 4.

            The government in Moscow uses instability alone to selfish purposes

            NATO has been the cause of instability in Libya and the former Yugoslavia and Kosovo.

            NATO is a self perpetuating war machine looking for an excuse to exist.

            • You are unable to talk about facts?

              Russia’s army is massing troops and hundreds of pieces of weaponry including mobile rocket launchers, tanks and artillery at a makeshift base near the border with Ukraine.

              Many of the vehicles have number plates and identifying marks removed while many of the servicemen had taken insignia off their fatigues. As such, they match the appearance of some of the forces spotted in eastern Ukraine, which Kiev and its Western allies allege are covert Russian detachments.

              http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-russia-military-idUSKBN0OC2K820150527
              http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/11557698/Russia-masses-more-forces-near-Ukraine-border.html

              Russia has been constantly increasing its military capacity in the direction of the Baltic countries and has also increased the capacity and complexity of exercises, it can be seen from the first annual report of the Estonian Information Board (EIB).

              Russia is gradually increasing its military capacity in the Baltic operational direction, it can be seen from the report drawn up by Estonia’s foreign intelligence service. Russia has also increased the volume and complexity of its exercises in the region.

              «Among the most significant changes are the formation of the 15th army aviation brigade in Ostrov (Pskov oblast) and placement of SS-26 Iskander tactical missiles (NATO reporting name – Stone) to Luga. Several units of the 6th Army have been relocated to the Narva tactical direction, and the Sertolovo training center to the north of St. Petersburg is to be transformed into a training center for armored forces,» it is written in the report. In addition, it is possible that an army aviation brigade and a reconnaissance or Special Forces brigade may also be formed in the Baltic operational direction (Estonia, Latvia) in the coming years.

              According to the yearbook the maneuver units of the Western Military District’s ground forces are capable of fielding 13–15 battalion tactical groups, equivalent to five maneuver brigades, fully or mostly staffed with contractual servicemen who are sufficiently trained to execute combat tasks. Airborne forces are capable of assembling up to 15 and the naval infantry 2–3 battalion tactical groups.

              http://news.postimees.ee/3612799/estonian-foreign-intelligence-russia-to-increase-military-power-in-baltic-direction

              • Russia is moving state-of-the art missiles to its westernmost Baltic enclave and nuclear capable-bombers to Crimea as part of massive military exercises, making it easier to hit member states of the NATO military alliance, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

                The decision comes amid the worst East-West standoff since the Cold War over the conflict in Ukraine with Moscow condemning a decision by Ukrainian legislators to change a special status law for areas held by pro-Russian separatists.

                A Defence official said Iskander missiles will be sent to the Kaliningrad region that borders NATO member states Poland and Lithuania. The missiles, which are able of striking enemy targets up to 310 miles (500 kilometres away), can be equipped with a nuclear or conventional war heads.

                From Kaliningrad they could hit several NATO member states.
                http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/03/18/russia_moves_nuclear_capable_weapons_to_nato_borders_/1130187

        • Putin himself is an anachronism and the most important thing: he is not looking for wars –
          he is waging wars – one after the other.

          Half those in your list took place before Putin came to office.

          Georgia started the 2008 war.

          Kiev started the war in Ukraine.

          The US and Saudi backed lunatics started the war in Syria

          • Before the Crimea–Ukraine affair, it looked as though Putin’s political regime was fairly stable and could last for several years without profound change.

            However, there was a qualitative shift in the regime’s character after 2014. Now, it draws its legitimacy from military action, rather than from the ballot box.

            The roots of this shift go back to the political crisis of 2011–2012, when mass anti-government protests and poor electoral results for the ruling party showed that the old form of politics was coming to an end. Today, the regime derives its legitimacy not from the bottom up, through elections, but from the top down, by placing the country on a permanent war footing.

            Putin`s role has changed fundamentally – now, he is more like a Tsar than the chair of a board. The regime has moved from a hybrid system that still maintained the outward trappings of a democracy to a full-scale militarized authoritarian state, while the shifting balance of power has made the elites more dependent on the president.

            The government has to make great efforts to maintain its new source of legitimacy – the mobilisation of Russia’s military. This has included campaigns such as the annexation of
            Crimea, though the cost of Russia’s involvement in Ukraine soon became prohibitively high.

            Supporting society’s addiction to military mobilisation isn’t easy, especially over a long period. The government switches from one military target to another, but each time – Crimea, eastern Ukraine, Syria, and Turkey – the intoxicating effect is shorter.

            In a bid to regain momentum, the regime launched its military operations in Syria i and whipped up anti-Turkish hysteria in response to the shooting down of the Russian fighter jet . If this dynamic continues, the system will be capable of holding on until the September 2016 legislative elections, at best.

            Though the dramatic worsening of the financial situation in early 2016 the effect of the victorious rhetoric, it also gave Putin and his system the chance to make a volte-face, converting the mobilisation rhetoric into a new sphere and shifting from the external enemy to a new internal one – the economic crisis.

            The use of military mobilisation rhetoric to keep the regime going is fraught with serious risks. The line between real and imagined foreign enemies is thin, and perceptions shift as the elites and society are increasingly indoctrinated. It could even lead to a real international armed conflict, either through a gradual slide or a sudden rush into direct confrontation.

            However, the regime has to maintain its military legitimacy at all costs: it is not capable of switching back to electoral legitimacy, except by replacing its leader Putin.

            • Now, it draws its legitimacy from military action, rather than from the ballot box.

              False. The anti-government protests were insignificant, as much as the regime change addicts in the west tried to hype them as some sea change, Putin’s approval ratings were far ahead of the opposition. The election results were a string endorsement got the ruling party.

              Russia is anything but on a war footing. Even president Obama, who is regarded as a peacenik, boasts of bombing 8 countries while threatening China and Russia.

              It is the US that maintains the outward trappings of a democracy to a full-scale militarized authoritarian state. In fact, for the US, militarism is considered the first option to foreign policy.

              The US is kebabs in Iraq, back in Libya, stick in Afghanistan, drone bombing half a dozen countries. It’s spending dwarfs all other states which proves it’s addiction to militarism.

              BTW Gunny, where did you cut and paste that post from?

  4. Update:
    .
    #International: Dubious but interesting “Turkish FM says agreed w/Washington to seal off Manbij pocket held by ISIS & US will deploy HIMARS rocket systems in s.east #Turkey in May” – humeyra_pamuk
    .
    Above person is a reuters journo apparently.
    .
    #Homs: Certain to piss off Putin but apparently SAA are performing with their usual incompetence “Reports #ISIS has captured Jabal Antar in northern #Palmyra from Assad forces following fierce clashes.” – Paradoxy13

  5. The Syrian government cut deals with Islamic State to help the jihadists earn more than $40 million a month from the sale of oil, documents recovered from a US and British raid on a key commander have revealed.

    At the height of production in late 2014 to early 2015, Isil recorded $40.7m profit each month – the lion’s share of which made from sales to the Syrian government.

    The documents reveal how instead of getting rid of state employees at the fields after they took them over, Abu Sayyaf offered them handsome salaries to stay – sometimes up to four times the national salary.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/25/isils-deal-with-bashar-al-assad-and-the-40m-a-month-oil-profits/

    When the US-led coalition became aware of the huge profit-making operation that was being run, they began conducting air raids on its makeshift refineries.

  6. Update:
    .
    #International: Finally the Yanks start getting serious “US deploy 90 km range rocket system in south Turkey near the border held by ISIL. Turkish artillery max range 40 km.” – NorthernStork
    .
    #Aleppo: 1) Oh dear, we’ll see by tomorrow whether the FSA in Dudyan have entrenched themselves sufficently “Heavy clashes between rebels & #ISIS on multiple fronts in north rural #Aleppo; unconfirmed reports of ISIS advancing inside Dudyan” – Paradoxy13
    .
    2) “Tajamu Fastaqam hit #Nairab airport (#Aleppo) with a Fil (elephant) missile. ” – QalaatAlMudiq
    .
    What’s needed though to make such shelling effective is large use of MRLs.
    .
    #Damascus: Disgusting “Regime forces fire heavy artillery on the eastern mountain of #Zabadani city.” – CombatChris1
    .
    Zabadani will be our generation’s Warsaw uprising.

  7. As intra-Kurdish dispute drags on, protestors demand reopening of Iraqi border
    https://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/comments/4gjhc3/as_intrakurdish_dispute_drags_on_protestors/ 4/26/2016

    KurdOSint @KurdOSint
    https://twitter.com/KurdOSint/status/671026097581113345 11/29/2015
    Calling Al Nusra et al moderates? This is exactly why you are NOT in Rojava. #Jash
    https://twitter.com/P_rojava/status/671005575619207169

    Michael Rubin @mrubin1971
    https://twitter.com/mrubin1971/status/724957995688419329 4/26/2016
    Kurdish official calls defeating ISIS ‘a huge mistake’ aei.org/publication/ku… #KRG @AEIfdp #TwitterKurds #ISIS #Iraq #Syria
    http://www.aei.org/publication/kurdish-official-calls-defeating-isis-a-huge-mistake/

    • Andre,

      Yep — this is a summary of all the smears and innuendoes. They are being used to justify the deliberate killing of people who have saved more than 20,000 lives in the Syrian conflict.

      The lesson of this is probably not what the pro-Assad zealots intended: it shows the depths to which they will go to justify death and destruction.

      Best,

      S.

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