Syria Daily: Russia’s Latest PR — US is Helping ISIS

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Moscow: “Everyone sees that the US-led coalition is pretending to fight Islamic State”


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Still facing the challenge in eastern Syria of the Islamic State — and possibly the US-backed, Kurds-led Syrian Democratic Forces, Russia has accused Washington of helping ISIS.

The Russian Defense Ministry accused the US on Tuesday of deliberately reducing airstrikes in Iraq to allow ISIS fighters to move into Deir ez-Zor Province to face a pro-Assad offensive supported by Moscow’s airpower. Spokesman Maj.-Gen. Igor Konashenkov (pictured) said:

Everyone sees that the US-led coalition is pretending to fight Islamic State, above all in Iraq, but continuing to allegedly fight Islamic State in Syria actively for some reason.

The actions of the Pentagon and the coalition demand an explanation. Is their change of tack a desire to complicate as much as they can the Syrian army’s operation, backed by the Russian air force, to take back Syrian territory to the east of the Euphrates [River]?

Or is it an artful move to drive Islamic State terrorists out of Iraq by forcing them into Syria and into the path of the Russian air force’s pinpoint bombing?

Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning rejected the Russian accusations as “absolutely false”: “We remain committed to killing ISIS and denying them safe havens and the ability to carry out strikes in the region or globally.”

Speaking during a visit to Sochi in southern Russia to discuss economic assistance (see below), the Assad regime’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem echoed the Russian line, saying the Pentagon is using the ISIS to “cover up its destruction campaign in Syria”.

However, Moallem’s sharpest comments were about the Syrian Democratic Forces, whom he said are fighting the regime to gain control over oil-rich areas: “[They] are now intoxicated with US aid and support, but it must be understood that this assistance will not last forever.”

Russian Difficulties in the East?

The pro-Assad offensive moved into Deir ez-Province at the start of September and advanced rapidly to the east, breaking a three-year ISIS siege on both Deir ez-Zor city and the nearby military airport. However, after moving into the western section of the city, the forces were hit by an ISIS counter-attack which inflicted heavy casualties and reclaimed territory to the south along the Euphrates. The Islamic State even returned to eastern Homs Province — including the town of Qaryatayn, 300 km (186 miles) from Deir ez-Zor.

ISIS showed video of two captives whom it claimed were Russian troops, and reports are circulating that up to a dozen Russians were slain.

The pro-Assad forces have retaken the area to the south of Deir ez-Zor; however, they have still been unable to break into the city of Mayadin on the Iraq border. ISIS also still controls Qaryatayn and continues to threaten the town of Sukhna.

The Assad regime’s military and its foreign allies are also wary of the Syrian Democratic Forces, led by the Kurdish militia YPG, who also entered Deir ez-Zor Province last month and are to the north and east of Deir ez-Zor city. Russia has tested the SDF by striking its units once — twice, according to the Kurdish-led force — and by constructing pontoon bridges for the pro-Assad offensive to cross to the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

Regime Assistance for ISIS in Eastern Hama?

The Russian statement came a day after the Assad regime was accused of enabling the Islamic State to attack the jihadist bloc Hayat Tahrar al-Sham in eastern Hama Province.

ISIS claimed that it captured 12 villages, although some were quickly retaken by HTS. Pro-opposition activists noted that Islamic State fighters crossed at least 30 km (19 miles) of regime-controlled territory to reach the HTS frontline.

The regime military had said last week that it cleared ISIS from its last pocket in the area.

Russian Warplane Crashes, Killing 2

A Russian Su-24 jet has crashed at Hmeimim airbase in western Syria, killing both crew.

The Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that the warplane “skidded off the runway and crashed while accelerating to take off for a combat task”. It pointed to a “technical malfunction”.


Video: “Last Days” for ISIS in Raqqa?

Footage of Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces evacuating civilians from the battle in Raqqa against ISIS. The SDF troops declared that the Islamic State is in its “last days” in the city it has held since late 2013.

Spokeswoman Jihan Sheikh Ahmed said on Tuesday, “The battle for Raqqa is now in its final stage, after [SDF forces] liberated 90 percent of the city.”

More than three months after the SDF entered the city, there are clashes in northern and central districts, including the National Hospital, the adjacent a-Naeem intersection and a nearby sports stadium. Ahmed said up to 1,000 ISIS fighters are encircled.


Assad’s Foreign Minister in Russia Seeking Economic Assistance

A regime delegation led by Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem has sought economic assistance in a meeting in Sochi in southern Russia.

Moallem signed a protocol with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, but there were no substantive announcements as the Assad regime looks for aid with reconstruction and continued propping-up of its crippled economy.

Instead, Moallem, proclaimed, “We are getting closer, through cooperation with you and with the rest of our allies, to final victory…in our joint battle against the Takfiri terrorist groups.”

The Foreign Minister asserted that he is “not worried about the speed of implementing what we have agreed on”, but then prodded Moscow by saying that the faster the Russian companies meet their obligations, the faster the Syrian economy recovers “and the more assured you will be about your investments in the Syrian economy being remunerative”.
The Russian Deputy Prime Minister described the protocol as deep, serious and built on solid basis after which several agreements will be implemented in order to help Syria overcome a very difficult stage.

With Syria having lost more than 75% of GDP during the 79-month conflict, including up to 95% of oil and gas production, the regime is heavily dependent upon support from Russia and Iran to maintain a semblance of economic activity.


Rebels Hand Over Control of Crossing on Turkish Border to Opposition Government

Rebels in northwest Syria have handed control of a major border crossing to the Syrian opposition government.

Khaled Aba of the Jabha Shamiya faction said the handover is to strengthen the government and help end factional rivalries. He urged other rebels to follow the example: “The interim government is the solution for the liberated areas to put an end to terrorism, to put an end to factionalism and the state of division in the liberated areas.”

Aba said Jabha Shaimy has joined a “national army” under the interim government’s defense ministry.

Bab Salama is in northern Aleppo Province, where the Free Syrian Army and Turkish forces cleared out the Islamic State last year.

This summer the jihadist bloc Hayat Tahrir al-Sham forced the rebel faction Ahrar al-Sham from another key crossing, Bab al-Hawa in Idlib Province, with an ostensible handover to civilian control.

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Funny how Russia ships ISIS terrorists who surrendered in Hama province to southeast Idlib enclave to fight FTS, and ships a hundred terrorist to Raqqa to fight SDF, and then they claim that US is helping ISIS?

    Are there any useful idiots who actually believe the Russians?

    Looks like the Russian spox is implying the reason they are not crossing the Euphrates is that US is helping ISIS to put up a stiff resistance on the south side of the Euphrates. Makes no sense whatsoever.

    Soon they will be claiming that US is in cahoots with ISIS and is trying to protect ISIS by stopping Assad from crossing the Euphrates. Just wait, this is going to come soon.

  2. Huseyin Celebi Literature Festival – In Memory of Mehmet Aksoy […]

    The Huseyin Celebi Literature festival founded in 1993, will take place in London on 21st October 2017. The festival commemorates Huseyin Celebi, a renowned creative writer who lost his life in the fight for Kurdish liberation in 1992, this year the festival takes on new meaning as it will be celebrated in memory of Mehmet Aksoy, a British-Kurdish writer, poet and filmmaker who was killed by ISIS while making a documentary about the Raqqa operation alongside the YPG.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/292530301226660/ 10/2/2017

    Before he passed, he wrote a poem for those who yearn for him.

    “Just look at the stars

    You will see me there

    At the bend of the Milky Way

    Where galaxies meet each other.”
    http://theregion.org/article/11645-in-the-midst-of-death-i-am-very-close-to-life-mehmet-aksoy-a-tribute 9/28/2017

    Joy of first rain in Raqqa on the way to liberation […]

    RAQQA – In the operation to liberate Raqqa, which has entered in its 128th day, the first rain that left behind the intense heat of the sun and the dust of the desert refreshes the lands becoming barren and becomes a breath for the fighters and the smile on their faces. “These people rot in the black burqas in summer and winter,” said the YPJ member Ruken and she emphasized the people’s determination in the operation to liberate Raqqa.

    The operation to liberate Raqqa, which has entered in its 128 day, has continued in the streets and neighborhoods. Intense clashes between occupying Daesh gangs and the Syrian Democratic Forces, which has taken 85% of Raqqa under their control, are going on.

    While the rain yesterday fell on the hot weather in Raqqa and the lands becoming barren, hundreds of civilians have been rescued by the SDF fighters and taken to safe areas. Each civilian has been taken out from the areas under control of Daesh in the line between life and death and SDF, YPJ and YPG fighters have provided security for civilians night and day.

    Half of Raqqa, northern of Syria, is surrounded by desert. While no one go out in Raqqa, where the temperatures is near 50 degrees in the day, the SDF fighters start off to take the city from darkness of Daesh to light.
    http://jinnews.com.tr/en/ALL-NEWS/content/view/67037 10/10/2017

  3. “Even if we douse it in the sea.
    this fire will burn forever.
    It beats out light in the darkness.
    It burns on.”
    – Bejan Matur
    http://philosophyismagic.com/kurdish_poetry_resistance/ 7/22/2017

    The #YPJ and all-female #SDF units to struggle for freedom, women’s liberation long after #Daesh (#ISIS) ousted from #Raqqa, #Syria. #YPG https://t.co/t7DP9Z8tsv
    https://twitter.com/DefenseUnits/status/898946369389559812 8/19/2017

    The SDF is not just fighting against ISIS, it is fighting for something — a new Syria based on participatory democracy and freedom. This fight looks set to continue after ISIS is defeated.
    https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/raqqa-largely-liberated-rojava-revolution-holds-commune-elections 9/23/2017

    • Those left-wing propaganda outlets are almost like reading a Sci-fi magazine:

      “Both the YPJ and YJS are fighting as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which brings together left-wing armed groups that support the revolutionary model of grassroots democracy and women’s liberation that guides the Democratic Federation of North Syria”

      “ISIS did not emerge until three years into the Syrian Civil War, by which time it had already killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions”

      This one is great, miserable marxists keep bashing the “west” altought they would not last 24hs without its assistance:

      “Moreover, the West has been complicit in an economic blockade that hampers development in the revolutionary areas in northern Syria and the revolutionary administration’s efforts to look after refugees from other parts of Syria”

      • This one is great, miserable marxists keep bashing the “west” altought they would not last 24hs without its assistance:

        This one is great, unhinged right wingers keep ignoring the fact there would be no ISIS without the west:

        • So?, the affirmation still stands true “neo-marxists keep bashing the “west” altought they would not last 24hs without its assistance”. Plus, 90% of those neo-marxists are westerners wich never suffered ISIS´s yoke.

        • You sound more like Andre everyday. And why are you changing the subject? Just repeating propaganda that has been debunked right here many times! First off, the political spectrum is not a simplistic one-dimensional left-right. Second, there has not been any proof whatsoever that the West created ISIS (so it can bomb the West? – SMH). Negligence by Obama and the leftwing White House does not make that a pre-mediated plan to create ISIS. Besides, you alt-leftists love ISIS everytime they strike the “imperialists” and the “hegemonists”. Have you converted to Islam yet?

          • You sound more like Andre everyday.

            I am Andre. It seems that the Facebook log in from Iphone is temperamental

            Just repeating propaganda that has been debunked right here many times!

            It has never been debunked. There was no ISIS until the US invaded and occupied Iraq. The timeline is irrefutable.

            First off, the political spectrum is not a simplistic one-dimensional left-right.

            Glad you finally came to that realization. It will be refreshing to see you refrain from blaming the left for everything not yo your liking.

            Second, there has not been any proof whatsoever that the West created ISIS

            I don’t thing anyone made that allegation. What I am others have said is that US policies led to ISIS.

            Negligence by Obama and the leftwing White House does not make that a pre-mediated plan to create ISIS. Besides, you alt-leftists love ISIS everytime they strike the “imperialists” and the “hegemonists”. Have you converted to Islam yet?

            So much for your short lived theory that the political spectrum is not a simplistic one-dimensional left-right. I knew it was too good to last.

            • Ahem, the third pole of the alt-left/alt-right, I always include when I say “The Left”. So the “Left” covers two poles, and not just one. And I have been saying for ages that the political spectrum is not a simplistic one-dimension. Even before you took that Marxist Studies and post-colonial class in a free public university at taxpayer’s expense.

              • Even before you took that Marxist Studies and post-colonial class in a free public university at taxpayer’s expense.

                I do love how the alt right in the US likes to pretend that the government has not provided provided a good deal of the every day services they take for granted.

  4. The Russians are correct, we are helping a whole bunch of isis get the virgins they are looking for.

    Best line is the reference to Russian pinpoint bombing, now that bit of sarcasm was funny

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