Syria Daily: Russia Steps Up Criticism of US Presence in East

A M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) of the US marines (back) speeds past armored personnel carriers of the US marines after a live fire exercise as part of "Balikatan" joint US-Philippine military exercise at Crow Valley, in Capas town, north of Manila on April 14, 2016 An advanced long range missile system showed its strenght in wargames in the Philippines on April 14, in a thinly-disguised warning to China regarding its territorial claims. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE


Russia has stepped up its criticism of the US military presence alongside rebels in eastern Syria, amid the possibility of a confrontation between pro-Assad forces and the Free Syrian Army.

The Russian Defense Ministry put out the provocative claim on Thursday that the US may attack the pro-Assad troops, which including Hezbollah and Iranian-led Iraqi militia, with the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System brought in to help protect the Tanf base near the Iraqi and Jordanian borders.

The Free Syrian base also includes US special forces training and assisting rebels in the fight against the Islamic State. It stands in the way of any pro-Assad push linking up with Iranian-supported militias in neighboring Iraq.

On three occasions since mid-May, the US has carried out airstrikes against pro-Assad forces trying to establish positions inside a 55-km (34-mile) exclusion zone around the base. The attacks, the first by the Americans against the ground units of the regime and its allies, have caused casualties and damaged an armored vehicle and engineering trucks.

Despite the defensive positioning of the HIMARS system, the Russian Defense Ministry maintained:

The range of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System is not enough to support the US-backed units of the Syrian Democratic Forces fighting against the Islamic State terror group in Raqqa. At the same time, the US-led anti-terrorist coalition has several times attacked the Syrian government forces near the Jordanian border, so it can be assumed that such attacks will continue, but this time involving the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems.

The Defense Ministry also repeated its line that the American presence violated Syrian sovereignty, insisting, “The deployment of any foreign weapons to Syria’s territory should be agreed with the country’s government.”

Russia and the US have discussed establishment of a “de-confliction zone” in southwest Syria along the borders with Lebanon and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, but it is unclear if the two militaries have had a similar meeting over the zone around Tanf.

The outlet of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Fars, has loudly heralded the build-up of Hezbollah and other foreign militia and echoed the Assad regime’s proclamation — unsupported so far — that forces have reached the Iraqi border.

While emphasizing the defensive measures around Tanf, the US military has enjoined the Free Syrian Army from attacking pro-Assad forces, saying rebels must concentrate on the Islamic State.

TOP PHOTO: A M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System with US Marine armored personnel carriers during an exercise (AFP)

Video: UN — For 1st Time in Conflict, Aid Blocked for 40+ Days

The head of UN humanitarian operations in Syria, Jan Egeland, explains that UN aid operations have been blocked for more than 40 days, the longest denial since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011.

Local sources and activists says the UN figure of 600,000 people — the large majority of them besieged by pro-Assad forces — is a very conservative estimate.

Video: Growing Mushrooms to Cope with Siege Near Damascus

Pro-opposition Orient News reports on the efforts of agricultural engineers to grow mushrooms in East Ghouta near Damascus to cope with regime sieges.

An estimated 400,000 people are in the opposition areas which have been besieged and bombarded for five years.

Since spring 2016, pro-Assad forces have taken much of the East Ghouta area. Last month the attacks forced the capitulation of the suburbs of Barzeh and Qaboun.Syria Daily, May 8: Forced Removal Deal for Damascus Suburb Barzeh

Russia: We May Have Killed ISIS Leader al-Baghdadi, Top Officials

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday that it is checking information that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and other top officials were killed by a May 28 airstrike in northern Syria.

The Ministry said Su-34 warplanes and an Su-35 multi-role fighter jet carried out airstrikes near the ISIS’s central position in the city of Raqqa, targeting a meeting where al-Baghdadi was reportedly present. The discussion was supposedly to plan “routes for the exit of militants from Raqqa” as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces launched a final offensive on the city.

Others reportedly killed in the strike include ISIS’s Emir of Raqqa, the emir controlling much of the remaining ISIS-held territory in Raqqa Province, and the group’s head of security.

The US-led coalition said through spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon, “We cannot confirm these reports at this time.”

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  1. its so rich listening to Russia complain about Syria’s soverignty. They should apply the same logic to Georgia, Ukraine, etc etc.
    What f’ing jokers they are. Anyone who is celebrating them is truly an idiot.

    • The inverse is also true: Every argument Russia uses against the current Ukrainian government (e.g. that it oppresses the people, is indiscriminate in the violence it uses etc) can be used against the Assad government and like your said the arguments Russia uses to defend the Assad regime (e.g. sovereignty of the state, right to target insurgents) is an argument that can be used against the Russians in the Ukrainian conflict.

  2. This should have been posted here rather then then June 12 thread.
    #International: A while back I wondered out loud how much strategic sense it would make for Israel to have a covert anti-Hezbollah/IRGC alliance (e.g. providing intell on targets as well as supply weapons) with the Southern Front FSA especially since the IRGC and Hezbollah have increased their military presence south of Damascus in the area around Deraa. At the time other posters dismissed that as something that would never happen. Well guess what? It seems Israel does have a covert alliance with a group of rebels in Quneitra and according to this link Israel’s intends to use the same strategy in the Syrian civil war that it used during the Lebanese civil war –
    “Despite its official policy of non-intervention, Israel has taken on a very proactive role in Syria, working to establish an Israel-friendly zone in Quneitra, akin to its strategy in southern Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war. What began as tentative contacts with opposition factions and residents across the fence in 2012 has turned into a full-fledged, multifaceted operation that has military, logistical, political and humanitarian dimensions, according to an investigation by Syria Deeply, which interviewed residents, Syrian intelligence officials and opposition members for this story…Israel’s “safe zone” now unofficially runs roughly 6 miles (10km) deep and 12 miles (20km) long beyond the demarcation line of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The effort is intended to prevent the Syrian government and its allies, specifically Lebanese Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, from maintaining a foothold along the Israeli fence. Israel used a similar tactic to establish a zone of control in the south of Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war.”
    What I tell you? Here’s another prediction by me – IF the IRGC and Hezbollah replaces the SAA and the Republican Guards in the provinces of Deraa and Suwaiyda and they (Ie IRGC and Hezbollah) decide to increase their military presence in those two provinces by 10 fold then not only would it rattle the Israelis but it’ll also likely to rattle the Jordanians enough to force them to send troops (like the Turks did in northern Aleppo to block the PKK/YPG) into Suwayda just to create a buffer between the Jordanian state and the IRGC. Mark my words the presence of US HIMARS long-range artillery system in Jordan is just a prelude to this.

  3. Kongreya Star was set up in 2012 and already says it has abolished child marriage, forced marriage, FGM & polygamy – 3/17/2017

    [Kongreya Star is the] coordinating body of women’s organizations in Rojava that encompasses the women’s councils, academies, cooperatives, and other women’s initiatives and organizations in Rojava that adhere to the model of democratic autonomy. Its main goal is the liberation of women in all spheres of life. Star is a reference to the goddess Ishtar. 12/13/2016

    The leaders of the women’s movement in Rojava don’t call what they are doing “feminism.” They say they are simply reclaiming a lost “heritage”—a tradition of women’s empowerment that was lost centuries ago. Later, when I began reading Ocalan’s writings on gender, I recognized that these were his ideas. The advent of monotheistic religions had made goddess worship sacrilegious and turned women into slaves within the household, Ocalan argued. Capitalism had brought this oppression and objectification to another level. What was necessary for society to be free, he concluded, was an end to patriarchal power and violence—a movement to “kill the dominant male” (figuratively speaking)—and the establishment of independent political institutions of, for, and by women. 6/7/2017

    • “The advent of monotheistic religions had made goddess worship sacrilegious and turned women into slaves within the household, Ocalan argued. Capitalism had brought this oppression and objectification to another level. What was necessary for society to be free, he concluded, was an end to patriarchal power and violence—a movement to “kill the dominant male” (figuratively speaking)—and the establishment of independent political institutions of, for, and by women.”

      Lol, so this is big brother Ocalan´s gospel??, he is exposing 50-year old theories!. No one in the academic milieu adhere anymore to Bachofen´s theory of a prehistoric matriarchy not even Marija Gimbutas researches indicated that.

      “Capitalism had brought this oppression and objectification to another level” what the hell is he talking?, in fact communist nomenklaturas were the ones governed by iron fist patriarchs! (Stalin, Castro, Tito, etc). A die hard stalinists like Ocalan who makes himself adore like a demi-god talks about, prehistory, “democratic autonomy” and “women liberation”?, is this a joke?.

      Note: 99% of PKK and YPG senior leaders are male…

      • There is no such thing as a “cultural leftist”, like Ojalan is pretending to be. Just like Muslims who will become Islamists when they grab power, so will the cultural leftists (postmoderns, relativists, etc.) who will become Stalinists in an eyeblink when they grab power. And then they will eliminate and execute any useful idiot cultural leftist that may protest Stalinism. And the useful idiots will cry — but but but, it must be a mistake, why are they lining me up against the firing wall?

        The 1% women in YPG hierarchy are probably cross dressers to keep the cultural lefties happy.

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