Syria Daily: Russia — Civilians We Killed in Idlib Are “2,000+ Terrorists”

Civil Defense rescuers search through rubble after Russian-regime airstrikes on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province, September 24, 2017

Russia has converted more than 200 people, killed in Idlib Province in the past 12 days by Russian and regime airstrikes, into more than 2,000 “terrorists”.

Amid a series of misleading statements on Saturday, Russia tried to obscure the civilian sites that it has attacked in opposition-held Idlib in northwest Syria since September 19. The Defense Ministry conflated the operations with strikes on the Islamic State in eastern Syria, amid a pro-Assad offensive in Deir ez-Zor Province that has tried to cope with an ISIS counter-attack since last Thursday.

The Ministry asserted that Russia’s bombings had killed 2,359 “militants” with a further 2,700 wounded. It said 16 field commanders and more than 400 citizens from the former USSR are among the casualties.

The strikes “helped repel counter-offensives by militants in the provinces of Idlib and Deir ez-Zor”, the Ministry said — an unusual statement, given that there have been no rebel attacks in Idlib Province.

Instead, Russia and the regime used the pretext of operations by rebels and the jihadists of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in neighboring northern Hama Province on September 19 to launch the airstrikes, maintaining the assault throughout the next 12 days.

Last Monday, more than 40 civilians were killed by bombing and shelling. Another 28 were reportedly killed early Saturday.

“We Helped Assad Gain 85% of Syria”

Russia also celebrated the second anniversary of its military intervention, in which thousands of civilians have been killed, with proclamations that the Assad regime is near “victory”.

The Defense Ministry said that pro-Assad forces now control 85% of Syrian territory.

The Ministry did not mention that Bashar al-Assad’s control of his people is far less extensive. More than 5 million of Syria’s pre-war population of 22 million are refugees. More than 5 million others remain displaced, many of them living in opposition-held or Kurdish-controlled areas.

More than 2 million of the 17 million remaining in Syria are in Idlib Province alone. Other civilians are in northern Aleppo Province and parts of the south under opposition authority, and many others are in Kurdish areas across north and northeast Syria taken from the Islamic State.

“Britain is Insignificant”

The Defense Ministry also showed a flash of anger over British claims of its role in the fight against the Islamic State.

The Ministry’s spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, said the UK’s efforts are “insignificant”.

Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, marking the third anniversary of British aerial operations against ISIS in Syria, gave a series of media interviews last week hailing London’s contribution to the US-led coalition in Iraq as well as the Syrian conflict.

Konashenkov snapped:

While the Syrian forces, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, were fighting to defeat ISIS in Syria, it suddenly emerged that during all these years UK Secretary of State for Defense Michael Fallon has been helping us destroy terrorists behind our backs.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. The German government believes that Turkey finances terrorist organisations such as Hamas and armed Islamist groups in Syria, a leaked document shows.

    “The many expressions of solidarity and support actions by the ruling AKP and President Erdogan for the Egyptian MB (Muslim Brotherhood), Hamas and groups of armed Islamist opposition in Syria emphasise their ideological affinity with the (broader) Muslim Brotherhood,” the ministry of interior wrote in reply to a question by left-wing party Die Linke. 8/17/2016

    Erdogan: Israeli Mossad Involved in Kurdish Referendum;

    Hezbollah: It’s a U.S.-Israeli Plot… 10/1/2017

    Iraqi Kurdish oil and gas could reach Europe via Syria & Rojava says @KDPinfo rep Khoshavi Mala Ibrahim in Moscow!!!… 9/30/2017

    • Once the Islamic fascist Turks are kicked out of Al-Bab, Efrin can join Manbij, and both the KRG and DNSF will link to Efrin. Then it will just be a matter of time for Idlib to join DNSF and a land line will be opened from Jisr Shuqur to norther Latakia to the sea.

  2. When Turkey and Iran threatened to close their borders to Southern Kurdistan due to the independence referendum of September 25, Rojava administration announced that their doors will always be open for Southern Kurdistan. 9/27/2017

    Al-Monitor: You had some serious problems with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government [KRG] on keeping the borders open, on entries and exits through the border crossings. Since the start of the Raqqa operation, however, we see that those problems have abated and that both humanitarian aid and US weapon supplies for the SDF are now easily coming in.

    [SDF commander Mazlum] Kobane: All assistance is coming in through the Semelka border crossing via southern Kurdistan [Iraqi Kurdistan]. The central government is not helping at all, and the KRG had maintained its obstructive stance in the beginning of the Raqqa operation; that is, in June and July. Things have relaxed since August, and the United States’ efforts have been important in securing this.

    Things would have been much easier if Turkey had kept the border open. All these difficulties might not have occurred at all, and we might not have faced this criticism on the care of civilians fleeing Raqqa. 9/26/2017

    Dr. Sherwan Berry, the medical coordinator of the Kurdish Red Crescent in Syria […] said there is more support needed for the thousands of IDPs that fled Raqqa and now also Deir Az-Zor.

    “There is more support needed for secondary and tertiary health care for the camps,” he said. The Kurdish Red Crescent works in several camps such as in Roj and Newroz camps where there are 5,000 refugees from Iraq and in al-Hawl, where there are 25,000 refugees.

    Currently, the Kurdish Red Crescent is also operating near Deir az-Zor, where the Syrian Democratic Forces have launched a new operation to clear out the province on 9 September. “We are moving towards Deir az-Zor and have 5 ambulances there as well,” he said.

    In the end the organization plans to continue support for civilians after ISIS is defeated. 9/22/2017

  3. Qaryateyn has been taken over by ISIS. Just goes to show that in Assad’s SSD (southern syria dictatorship), there will never be a muxâberâti peace. Because people are fed up with Assad and they have access to arms and will receive foreign assistance. So Assad may capture a lot of territory, but he can never capture the hearts and minds to rule. His rule will always be under siege by Syrians. While DSNF will prosper in the north, SSD will always be at war with its people.

    • So Assad may capture a lot of territory, but he can never capture the hearts and minds to rule.

      That’s a pretty absurd argument given that the rebels have been fighting among each other throughout the conflict. Everyone knows that even when the war has ended, ISIS and other militants will continue to offer pockets of resistance or acts of terrorism and won’t go quietly.

      Assad has the vast majority of support among Syrians, which is why he has managed to liberate so much territory and why life has returned to some semblance of normalcy. The DSNF has no legitimacy and certainly is unsustainable, relaying almost entirely on US support.

      • I think DNSF has a bit more legitimacy than a Nazi that has murdered about 500,000 innocent people and has sold a country and its resources to foreign colonialists like Russia and Iran.

  4. Now that there is an NFZ in northern Syria and DNSF has been formed, Assad is facing many setbacks and Russian and Iranian propaganda seems to have been gone in over-drive.

    Barbar and Andre have been ordered to return to the main MSM comment boards flooding them with propaganda, as they must need more backup there.

    What a whiff of fresh air …

    • There is no NFZ in Syria, only a deconfliction zone which depends entirely on Russia’s cooperation.

      Assad controls 75% of Syria and keeps liberating more each day. Soon the so called “SDF” will be forced to chose between staring at defeat or laying down their arms.

      Amazing how things have turned around so dramatically since Russia intervened

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