Syria Daily: Are Russia and Turkey Coordinating Bombing of Islamic State?

Russian Jets Ready to Provide More Aerial Support for Ground Operations across Syria



Assad Regime’s Reconstruction of Aleppo? Not Quite.

Russia’s military says it has coordinated airstrikes with Turkey against the Islamic State inside Syria for the first time, but Ankara has not confirmed the claim.

Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi said on Wednesday that the attacks were carried out near al-Bab, ISIS’s last major position in Aleppo Province.

A Turkish-rebel offensive has taken much of ISIS’s territory in northern Syria since last August, but it has struggled since early December to advance in the al-Bab area, northeast of Aleppo, with dozens of Turkish forces killed.

Earlier this week the US confirmed its first strikes in support of the operation, after fierce criticism from Turkey — including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — that a US-led coalition has offered no help, even as it backs the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces against ISIS in other parts of northern Syria.

Russia’s Rudskoi described “highly effective” operations on Wednesday:

The air operation, agreed on with the Syrian government, involves nine warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Force, including four Sukhoi Su-24M, four Sukhoi Su-25 aircraft and one Sukhoi Su-34 bomber, as well as four F-16 and four F-4 fighters of the Turkey’s Air Force. A total of 36 targets were planned to be hit.

The general said the targets were agreed between Russian and Turkish General Staffs since Monday.

But the Turkish military made no reference to the Russian report. It said instead that “164 Daesh terror targets, including hideouts, defense positions, command control facilities, weapons, and vehicles” were hit on Wednesday. The statement added that the US-led coalition attacked three targets.

The Daily Sabah site, close to President Erdoğan, cited the report of Russia’s Interfax news agency but offered no further comment.

Russia and Turkey have been on opposite sides for almost all of the six-year Syrian conflict, with Moscow backing the Assad regime and Turkey supporting the Syrian opposition and rebels. However, their cooperation has flourished since a reconciliation between Erdoğan and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in August. Ankara agreed to accept the reoccupation of all of Aleppo city — facilitated by a siege and intense Russian bombing — by pro-Assad forces, while Moscow acceded to the Turkish-rebel offensive in Aleppo Province.

The militaries of the two countries have established procedures for cooperation, including arrangements to ensure no accidental clashes between their air forces.

Reports: Ceasefire Deal in Wadi Barada

Opposition outlets report a ceasefire deal to halt the four-week pro-Assad offensive on Wadi Barada, northwest of Damascus.

The outlets post the text of the agreement in which engineers will be able to reach infrastructure for the al-Fija springs, which provide more than 60% of the capital’s water, after the pumping facility was damaged by regime airstrikes. Families will return to the area of 10 villages, while rebels will withdraw to Idlib Province in northwest Syria.

The deal was reportedly brokered by a German diplomat, Andreas Krüger, after the head negotiator, retired Syrian general Ahmad Gharban, was killed last weekend in disputed circumstances.

172 Russian-Regime Attacks on Medical Facilities in 6 Months

Russia and the Assad regime carried out 172 attacks on medical facilities and personnel from June to December 2016, according to a report by the Syrian American Medical Society.

The report documents an 89% increase in attacks, to one every 29 hours, after the UN Seucrity Council passed a resolution in May calling for a halt to the attacks. Assaults included cluster munitions, incendiary weapons, and bunker-buster bombs.

The strikes killed 14 medical staff and wounded 23.

Russian-regime operations have damaged most medical facilities in northwest Syria, including almost all in eastern Aleppo city before it was reoccupied by pro-Assad forces in December. Hospitals and clinics have also been struck in other areas of the countries, leaving many Syrians without any local medical facility.

Reports: Jihadist Suicide Bombing Kills 7 in Damascus

Reports are circulating of a second suicide bombing within days on a key regime area in southern Damascus, killing at least seven people.

The jihadist Jabhat Fatah al-Sham has reportedly carried out the attack in Kafrsouseh, near the position of elite Republican Guards, regime buildings, and the Presidential Palace.

At least five people — reportedly including high-ranking military officers — died in a suicide bombing in the area last week.

Iran Gets A Payoff for Support of Assad

Iran has been rewarded for its support of the Assad regime in a series of economic agreements signed on Wednesday.

Iran’s 1st Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri and Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis signed documents allowing Iran to open a mobile service provider and establish an industrial oil storage facility.

Tehran is also being given “5,000 hectares of farmland” and rights to operate phosphate mines near Palmyra in central Syria and a port which was not named.

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  1. Looks like Trump’s unofficial Syria envoy has made her first trip to Damascus with a proposal to end the imposed proxy war of aggression and was well received by President Assad:
    And, lo and behold, the same day she departs this unexpected news emerges, suggesting the defrosting of relations has already begun before Der Trumpenführer has even gotten his yuuge mitts on the levers of power:
    Hardly a coincidence, methinks, hence JI-Joes [and their internet fanbois] must brace for much more bad news in the proximate future:

  2. #International: 1) “In connection with the aforementioned deals, discussion of plans to create a fiber optic network linking #Tehran, #Baghdad & #Damascus” – Jacm212
    Simple reason – it allows Iran to electronically surveil all of Syrian direction from Tehran. This is why recommend rebels in Idlib tear out their internet/telecommunication cables from the province and replace them with internet/telecommunication cables directly connected to Turkey (just like Jarablus is right now) that why it saves rebels communications from being tampered with by regime or Iran.
    That said.
    2) It seems the Turks want to beat Iran to the punch “Turkey planning on integrating its electric grid with N Aleppo to provide power to areas controlled by the FSA, starting with Azaz but to include all the areas taken from IS, rural & towns. If this happens, area would have the most stable electric grid in #Syria. If this follows through, it’ll be a strong step towards the de-linking from Damascus’ control.” – Jacm212
    Like I said in the above, Idlib area should be included too.
    #Aleppo: “A lady returned to the east city to check her home and found Shabiha looting it. She was detained and hasn’t been heard from since” – CombatChris1
    Poor woman, I fear what Assadists are doing to her. Shame that not alot of rebel groups adopted my idea of placing an IED-trap to fridges/ovens/washing-machines.
    #Hama: “Simon Alwakeel, the head of the NDF in Mhardeh, #Hama, survived an assassination attempt last night via an IED.. Mhardeh has 3 loyalist groups with strong influence, Simon’s NDF, the SSNP & Air Force Intel,. Tensions have been high before…Including an incident last year when Simon’s son Fahed (pictured below) was allegedly beaten by Air Intel.” – Jacm212
    These kind of local latent tensions should be exploited rebels (e.g. a rebel agent doing special-ops whilst wearing the uniform of a faction different to the faction leader being targeted) because a divided opponent is a conquerable opponent.

  3. For the military nerds out there: I’ve often recommended that rebels adopt a trio of ideas (ie mobile warfare, ‘forward defence’ approach, ‘defeat in detail’ strategy) and I’ve mentioned famous historical wars (e.g. Russian-Finnish winter war, First Chechen wars – mobile warfare) battles (e.g. Battle of Ulays, Battle of Leuthen – forward defence) that demonstrated some of these ideas. There is one battle from modern world history that I’ve forgot to mentioned which demonstrates how a smaller but mobile army destroyed a larger army through ‘defeat in detail’ and that is the Battle of Tannenberg in which the Germans use their railway system to quickly send mobile troops undetected to the sides of the Russian army whilst the Russian army stupidly launched an offensive across difficult terrain to attack another German army. Long story short: The second German army beat back the Russians but the Russians get trapped after the difficult terrain slowed down the Russian army which gave the first concealed mobile German army enough time to destroys the supply line of that Russian army by quickly striking the rear of that Russian army from a concealed location.
    Here’s a good 4 minute documentary video on the Battle of Tannenberg:
    Note the narrator’s comments on how the German’s smaller but more mobile artillery imitated/tricked Russians into thinking that the Germans had a larger army.
    In case anyone is wondering what ‘defeat in detail’ is here’s a wiki:

    • Here’s the German’s operational maps for the ‘Battle of Tannenberg’ which Hindenburg used and which the 4 minute documentary I posted visualised what happened to the Russians:
      This first map below shows the battle lines of the German and Russian troops before the battle.
      This second map below shows the battle line of the German and Russian troops DURING the battle.
      The ‘Battle of Tannenberg’ along with the Battle of Austerlitz are two of the most famous examples in modern history where a smaller more mobile army ‘defeated in detail’ a much larger opponent by acting first, by isolating/detaching smaller units from their enemy and then crushing the enemy piece by piece.
      This is how excellent operational encirclement is done. As I’ve said before it’s one thing to notice and exploit an opponent’s weak spots/gap before a battle but it’s an act of genius to actively create gaps/weak-areas in an enemy’s army through manoeuvring (e.g. decoy offensives, concealed encirclement etc) in a middle of a battle.

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