Syria Daily: Rebels Counter-Attack in Latakia Province in West

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PHOTO: A fighter from the rebel faction Ahrar al-Sham in the mountains of northern Latakia Province


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Rebels launched a counter-attack on Monday in Latakia Province in western Syria, trying to take the initiative from pro-Assad forces who have advanced since last autumn’s Russian aerial intervention.

Pro-rebel accounts claimed the assault was successful in the area near the Turkish border. They said ground was taken in the mountains of Jabal Turkmen and Jabal al-Akrad, including the villages of al-Qarmeel, Nahshabah, Mazghalah, and the Rasha hilltop.

Pro-regime accounts, including that of the embedded reporter Eyad al-Hossein, denied any gains by the rebels. They said the attacks were repelled and ended near the town of Kinsibba last night, although fighting continued elsewhere.

However, intense Russian airstrikes appear to be trying to push rebels out of areas taken on Monday.

Enabled by the Russian airstrikes, a regime offensive took much of northern Latakia Province from October, including the key town of Salma in December. Two months later, the Syrian military and moved into Kinsibba.

Since a now-dormant February 27 cessation of hostilities, rebels have held onto their remaining positions, including the town of Kabani, and launched some attacks.

Latakia Province has been considered an essential area for the Assad regime. On the Mediterranean and including the main Russian base near Latakia city, it is the ancestral home of President Assad.

Rebel preparations for the counter-attack:


Russian Ambassador: No Offensives on Aleppo & Raqqa Cities in Near-Future

Russia’s ambassador to Syria has poured cold water on declarations that pro-Assad forces, enabled by Russian airstrikes, will launch a ground offensive either the opposition-held areas of Aleppo city or the ISIS-held city of Raqqa in the near-future.

Alexander Kinshchak told the Russian State agency Interfax:

I am not confident than an offensive on Aleppo will take place in the foreseeable future.

As for Raqqa, in this case I would also like to refrain from any certain forecasts regarding its liberation.

Frankly speaking, I am not certain at all that this may happen in the nearest time.

Aleppo city has been divided since July 2012. Last weekend, pro-Assad forces launched another attempt to close off the main route, north of the city, to opposition areas (see entry below).

Last week, the Syrian military’s attempt to enter Raqqa Province ended in failure, with initial gains reversed by ISIS.


Video: Kurdish-Led Forces Outside ISIS-Held City of Manbij

Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces on the outskirts of the ISIS-held city of Manbij in Aleppo Province.

The offensive to capture the Islamic State’s main position in Aleppo began last month. The SDF — assisted by US-led airstrikes and American special forces and arms — has surrounded the city and reportedly took more areas, such as grain silos, in the past week.


Pro-Assad Advance Checked North of Aleppo

Pro-Assad forces have been checked in their latest offensive north of Aleppo city.

The Syrian military and foreign allies, including Russian airstrikes and Palestinian and Iraqi militias on the ground, began the attack last Saturday. They have been trying for months to close off the main route, located near Handarat village, into opposition-held areas of Syria’s largest city.

Pro-regime accounts claim that the force has taken the northern part of the al-Mallah Farms, acknowledge that the attackers were unable to move into the southern part on Monday.

Pro-rebel accounts acknowledged that territory was initially lost on Sunday, but assert that some positions have been recaptured.

See Syria Daily, June 26: Claims — Elite Pro-Assad Units Launch Another Aleppo Attack


Suicide Bombers Attack Lebanon Village Near Syrian Border

Eight suicide bombers attacked a Lebanese village near the Syrian border on Monday, killing five people and wounding dozens.

Security sources said they believed the Islamic State was responsible for the bombings in Qaa; however, there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Four suicide bombers attacked after 4 a.m., killing five civilians. In the evening, at least four more bombers struck as residents were preparing the funerals of those slain earlier. Two of the four bombers blew themselves up outside a church.

Only the bombers were killed in the second attacks, but medics said 15 people were injured.

The head of the Qaa local council urged residents to stay at home and shoot anyone suspicious, while the provincial governor imposed a curfew on Syrian refugees.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. A TERRIBLE MONTH FOR GENOCIDE ALLIANCE FORCES

    1. South of Aleppo: Weeks of rebel gains and high casualty counteroffensives by the regime.
    2. Tabqa: See the Onyx report on that.
    3 North of Aleppo: The regime threw everything at the rebels yesterday and got nowhere.
    4. Latakia: Defenders seem to have been caught by surprise with thinned defenses and are hoping to hold back the rebels with air power until help arrives and assuming the latter is available).
    5. Lebanon: the successful ISIS suicide attacks yesterday on the Lebanese border.
    6. Airpower: The rebels have shown some new ability to bring down Assad’s air power.
    .
    HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT ASSAD MAY BE MOVING TOWARD CLIFF’S EDGE ONCE MORE?
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    1. Smart “hit ’em where they ain’t” strategy that takes advantage of an overextended regime led by incompetent officers, leading an almost moribund army.
    .
    2. Biggest factor: the rebels’ huge edge in motivation compared to regime fighters. Five years of radicalizing, genocidal attacks on civilians ironically intended to break rebel will continues to reinforce it while radicalizing the rebels as well. Only Al Queda and extreme Islamists benefit. Is that really what Putin wants?
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    POSSIBILITIES ON THE MILITARY FRONT
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    1. The move on Latakia came as a surprise. Like Tabqa it exposes Assad’s dreams of victory and reconquest of all of Syria as pure fantasy. Where will the regime find reinforcements needed there? Any front it strips will be endanged either by rebels or by ISIS.
    2. Will ISIS take advantage in Deir Ezzor. It could also retake Palmyra, depriving Assad of even a recent symbolic victory?
    3. Will Hezbollah be forced to move forces closer to Lebanon after yesterday’s ISIS bombings on its borders? Coming after a month of much increased losses and a Nasrallah pledge to step things up in Syria, won’t all this cause discontent back in Lebanon?
    4. Could we also see anti-regime demonstrations among Alawites caused if the rebel gains in Latakia continue?
    5. What happens if simultaneously rebels in the south give up on Backstabbing Obama and Jordan and launch new offensives relying on captured on self-invented weapons as rebels in the north have done?
    .
    CAN PUTIN AND KHAMENEI CONTINUE TO PROP UP ASSAD AND FOR HOW LONG?
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    Obviously the best that can do is postpone the inevitable so why not get the best possible outcome now?
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    1. KHAMENEI is hopeless. He’ll opt for doubling down because the Syrians can never accept any deal which allows for a permanent New Hezbollah to make trouble in Syria as it does in Lebanon. If Khamenei doubles down and Russia backs off, his casualties and costs will be even higher and that will surely lead to trouble back in Iran.
    .
    2. PUTIN originally underestimated the rebels and probably realized that now. So he has two choices. The LBJ Double Down Option, or the Oust Assad Option. What he needs is a face saver. He can manage that by blaming Assad.
    .
    A coup would work, followed by an immediate end all bombing of civilians immediate, followed by a new government formed in cooperation with the USA and containing people acceptable to both the rebels and Alawites. Major war criminals would have to be excluded and arrested. Alas, Iran is likely well placed to prevent a coup. In a second option, a joint Russian/USA “step-down ultimatum,” would do the trick If Assad refused, I suspect many of his troops would not stand by him, especially given the prospect of a rebel led offensive from the south backed by Russian and US airpower and artillery.

  2. HILARIOUS REQUEST FROM GENOCIDAL RUSSIA
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    Russia urges instant lifting of US, EU sanctions from Syria — ministry. If we did so, all the goodies would go to supporting Assad’s regime and one tenth of one percent would go to besieged Sunnis.
    .
    http://tass.ru/en/politics/885113
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    LATAKIA
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    #1: Map shows rebels gains
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    https://twitter.com/JulianRoepcke/status/747721364082143232
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    #2: Yarmouk Battle: after Rebels seized 13 locations/hills, intense airstrikes/shelling as pro-Regime forces try to counter-attack in north Latakia.–Qalaat al-Mudiq. A counterattack can’t seize ground via air power. it requires sufficient boots on the ground which the regime may be lacking.
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    .#3: Jaish_Tahrir seized Konkurs missiles from the Regime that are sure to be used on their original owners.
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    https://twitter.com/CombatChris1/status/747630875823710209
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    4: VIDEO: Driver of transport vehicle almost escapes ATGM near Kinsabba in Latakia, #Syria.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_-qRp68haQ&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

  3. LATAKIA CONTINUED
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    5. Rebels claimed to have killed 45 Genocide Troops, injuring many more
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    http://en.etilaf.org/all-news/local-news/rebels-counterattack-in-rural-latakia-45-pro-regime-militants-killed.html
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    6. Reports rebels retreated from almost all the positions captured y’day in Turkmen Mount not Akrad Mount Latakia. Phase 2 Begins tonight.–Stork.
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    I suspect the move was preplanned and it would be wise.. The rebels often retreat after taking a place and before air power arrives. Next question: Will there be a second phase or is it a bluff? Even as it is, rebels have accomplished several things: 1) slow down bombings elsewhere; 2) discouraging regime attacks elsewhere; 3) inflicting further attrition on a regime that can’t afford it, and 4) shaking up the regime with a surprise front.. This move and the need to guess what rebels intend next will force the regime to hold back troops in Latakia, making them unavailable elsewhere.
    .
    ALEPPO
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    –Faylaq Al-Sham blew up a firing 23 mm gun with a Kornet in Handarat, N. Aleppo.Faylaq Al-Sham blew up a firing 23 mm gun with a Kornet.
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA_j27250nA
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    –Assad-forces on the verge to besiege rebel held eastern Aleppo. Last supply road in danger–Markito0171.
    .
    That’s the only good news for the regime today. Neverthess they must still take it, then hold it for a long time. Past experience in Daraya, Jobar and Gouta suggests rebels can hold out for years if necessary. Can a manpower short regime sustain a siege for that long, given long perimeters. Rebels also could break through from the south or even cut the regime supply line near Al Safirah. Here’s an important map of the situation north of Aleppo.

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    https://twitter.com/markito0171/status/747816435683033088

  4. On the Rise of the New Fascism

    DONALD TRUMP’S SON BEGS MEMBERS OF BRITISH PARLIAMENT TO SUPPLY CASH FOR DADDY’S CAMPAIGN. SEE THEIR RESPONSE HERE:

    .
    https://twitter.com/NatalieMcgarry/status/745790016891289602
    .
    CRUMMY CHOICE FOR BRITS IN NEXT ELECTION?
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    Jeremy Corbyn has lost a no-confidence vote by a landslide (172 to 40) but insists “I’m staying.” Will Brits have to choose between Corbyn and Brexit lover (and liar) Boris Johnson. If elected, Boris vows he will not allow a revote on Brexit but intends to negotiate withdrawal almost immediately.
    .
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/28/boris-johnson-tory-leadership-bid-liz-truss?CMP=share_btn_tw
    .
    Fascism is now in vogue again. Trump-like Brexit fans been targeting Poles, a German woman who lived in Britain 40 years (throwing shit at her house) and Muslims (a shop burned down). Similarly a neo-Nazi, Hezbollah and Trump supporter attacked a black woman while wearing one of Trump’s red “Make America Great Again” Hats. The guy is head of the neo-Nazi group involved in the stabbing of several people at a rally in Sacramento was recently photographed in a yellow Hezbollah shirt. .
    .
    With every passing day Hillary looks better than Trump, Corbyn or Johnson. Potential running mate Elizabeth Warren seems to delight everyone who despises Trump types. She also knows how to get under Trump’s skin and leave him sputtering as she captures his essence ( “a cheap, little money grubber.”) Trump haters from both parties seem to love that description. I visualize the guy seated on a toilet, grunting and grinding his teeth.
    .
    Having spent four plus years and millions of dollars trying to get something on Hillary. the partisan GOP Benghazi committee confessed to failure today. However, as one member boated previous, the idea was to lower Hillary’s favorability/trust ratings via Goebbels’ Big Lie technique (if you repeat a lie often enough and loudly enough people will believe it). In that at least they succeeded, he gloats.
    .
    IS TRUMP EVEN LESS QUALIFIED THAN SARAH PALIN?
    .
    Fact checkers have been hammering Trump when he was unable to provide any evidence at all regarding his charges that “enemy agents had tapped into Hillary’s e-mails. The best he could say was (as in his birther charges against Obama) “I heard it or read it somewhere.” When it comes to foreign affairs knowledge or economic sophistication (other than how to swindle people) you can flip a coin in choosing between Sarah Palin and Donald Trump.

  5. Proposed Law Banning ‘Discreditation of Russia’ Resembles Soviet-Era Article Used To Silence Dissent
    .
    “Discreditation of the RF, that is the dissemination of deliberately false, inaccurate or distorted information about the political, economic, social, military or international position of the RF, the legal status of citizens of the Russian Federation, discrediting the Russian Federation or its government bodies, to be punishable by a fine in the amount of 500,000 rubles or in the amount of the wages or other income of the convict for a period of six months or compulsory work for a period of 160 hours.”
    .
    http://www.interpretermag.com/june-28-2016/#14386
    .
    HOW ELECTIONS ARE RIGGED IN RUSSIA
    .
    Companies and workers are told to show up and vote for Putin’s candidates or they’ll get no contracts and be driven into bankruptcy. In some cases they are required to bring cell phones with them and take photos to prove they voted “correctly.” If all that fails, parties are banned and opposing candidates jailed or killed.
    .
    ,,,

    WHY NO ONE WANTS TO INVEST IN RUSSIA AND ANY RUSSSIANS ENTREPRENEURS HOPE TO EMIGRATE TO THE WEST
    .
    You can be asked to hand over large sums of cash by pro-Putin politicians. If you refuse, the government uses various tactics: beatings, breaks in, arson, going after your kids, even assassination. If a “connected” big shot wants your business, you best hand it over or else.
    .
    Free speech is rapidly disappearing (via the same methods) and even prior to the above law. Fearing future discontent, Putin has been forming his own party army and plainclothes militias (equivalent to Hitler’s brownshirts and SS and Khamenei’s Basilj and Republican Guard).
    .
    Recommended film: “Leviathan.” (exposes Russian corruption)
    .
    Recommended Reading
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    Putin Country: A Journey Into the Real Russia by NPR’s Anne Garrels.
    A common tactic is to accuse

  6. #1: Did Jabhat al-Nusra assassinate Syrian activist Khaled al-Issa?
    .
    The Al-Qaeda affiliate has become the main suspect behind the killing in Aleppo
    .
    https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commentaryanalysis/567144-did-jabhat-al-nusra-assassinate-syrian-activist-khaled-al-issa
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    #2: Syria opposition manning anti-aircraft systems: report
    .
    A rebel source told AKI news that rebels possess FIVE working 9K33 OSA air-defense platforms.
    .
    https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/NewsReports/567140-syria-opposition-manning-anti-aircraft-systems-report
    .
    #3: Trump promised millions to charity. We found less than $10,000 over 7 years.
    .
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-promised-millions-to-charity-we-found-less-than-10000-over-7-years/2016/06/28/cbab5d1a-37dd-11e6-8f7c-d4c723a2becb_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trumpcharity-718a-top-1%3Ahomepage%2Fstory
    .
    #4: The Senate Republicans’ Assault on the Supreme Court
    .
    If they don’t cease the manipulative obstruction of Merrick Garland, they’ll forever change the confirmation process
    .
    If they don’t cease the manipulative obstruction of Merrick Garland, they’ll forever change the confirmation process

  7. Terrorist attack in front of Attaturk Airport in Istanbul.
    Media balanced toward ISIS(Turkish police says ISIS & attack similar to Brussel)
    I am inclined towards PKK(TAK)
    – 3 grenades + portable AK47 used — 3 attackers
    – purpose to destroy Turkish tourism

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