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February 7, 2016 / 28 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Free Syrian Army’

Russia Takes over Syrian Civil War, Hits Rebels with Missiles

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Moscow is becoming the de facto capital of Syria, if not Iran.

Russian cruise missiles bombarded positions of rebels fighting the Assad regime, which is totally dependent on Russia and is virtually owned by it.

Iran also might find itself under the thumb of Russia. USA Today reported Thursday that Tehran pressed President Vladimir Putin to become directly involved in the Syrian civil war, which has left the country disintegrated.

Basher al-Assad has held on to power only through the generous supply of weapons from Russia. Now he has the Russian Air Force pummeling rebel positions.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Tehran-backed Hezbollah terrorist army has been fighting alongside Assad’s soldiers but have suffered a huge number of casualties.

The Associated Press reported that the commander of Iran’s special elite forces travelled to Russia in August to convince Putin to join the fray, and the counties now operate an intelligence center in Baghdad.

Russia is the only major power that has had the guts to move into Syria. President Barack Obama backed off his threat earlier this year to intervene after there was proof that Assad was using chemical weapons.

Russia intervened and worked out a sleight-of-hand act by which Assad handed over his chemical and biological stockpile to international inspectors. The Obama administration easily swallowed the tale that Assad handed over all of the weapons, many of which were in Syria courtesy of none other than Russia.

Iraq has been disappointed with the American-led strike force’s inability to pulverize the Islamic State (ISIS), and Russia has used ISIS as the perfect excuse to move into Syria, set up an air force base and stake its presence as the power broker in the region.

Whether or not President Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry really believed Putin’s promise that Russian forces are in Syria only in order to wage war on ISIS, their illusion that their words speaker louder than action has left them too paralyzed to do anything about it. It was clear from day one that Moscow’s real objective is to save Assad.

Four Russian warships launched 26 missiles against rebel forces as wells ISIS on Wednesday in addition to aerial attacks that have allowed Assad’s foot soldiers to try to take over more territory.

NATO Secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia’s military actions are “troubling escalation” and added:

My concern is that the Russians are not mainly targeting ISIS but they are targeting other opposition groups and they are supporting the (Assad) regime.

It’s a bit late for his concern.

Syrian rebels are firing anti-tank missiles at Assad’s soldiers who have Russian aerial support.

Syrian activist Raed Fares was quoted by AP as saying:

Russia is targeting civilians and the Free Syrian Army brigades that are supported by America. They are not targeting the Islamic State as they claimed. Russia is here to keep Assad in power, so they will strike what Assad strikes.

The rebels, and even ISIS, don’t have much of a chance against the superior Russian firepower.

Regardless of its ulterior motives, Russia is the only country in the world that has taken the initiative to directly confront ISIS.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter thinks that Russia is on the wrong track, despite the failure of 7,000 strikes by the U.S.-led force to seriously damage ISIS.

He said in Rome:

We believe Russia has the wrong strategy. They continue to hit targets that are not ISIL. This is a fundamental mistake.

If he is wrong and Russia succeeds, it will decide the future of Syria, if not Iran.

‘Jihadi John’ Vows to Return to Britain and ‘Cut off Heads’

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

The Islamic State’s (ISIS) infamous beheader Mohammed “Jihadi John” Emwazi said on a video that he will return to his native Britain to “carry on cutting heads off,” the London Daily Mail reported Sunday.

The newspaper said it obtained the video, which reportedly fell in the hands of the Free Syrian Army and may have been filmed approximately two months ago in Syria, the first time he has been photographed unmasked. . The video shows a man claiming to be Jihadi John, dressed in black and wearing a cap under his hood. He announced in the video, with a clear British accent:

I will carry on cutting heads.

A Free Syrian Army activist told the Mail:

He looks at the camera and says, ‘I am Mohammed Emwazi. I will soon go back to Britain with the Khalifa’ [the leader of Islamic State].

He said something more about cutting heads off, ‘We will kill the kuffar.’ Then the camera shows two masked men that looked like bodyguards.

Jihdi John said that when he returns to Britain to chop off heads, he will spare “believers.”

Jihadi John is one of the world’s most wanted men with a $96 million bounty placed on his head by the United States for the bheading of Americans, the first of whom was James Foley last year.

Reports: IAF Strikes Syrian/Hezbollah Targets Overnight

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Please see this article for an update on who bombed the sites.

Arab sources are reporting that the Israeli Air Force struck Assad’s and Hezbollah positions in Qalamoun, Syria around 2 AM Monday morning.

The Arab sources claim that Israel hit a Scud missile storage site and injured a number of soldiers from the 155 Syrian division in three sorties. Al-Arabiya claims that 30 Syrian soldiers were killed. There is no official response from Syria or Hezbollah.

The attack came hours after Israel killed four Syrians who were planting a bomb on the Golan Heights along the Israeli side of the Israel-Syrian border.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims the four planting the bomb on Sunday evening were Syrian soldiers.

Israel has launched a number of airstrikes in Syria lately, as Syria, though primarily Hezbollah and Iran, attempt to use the chaos and civil war in Syria to establish a new front against Israel on top of the Golan Heights. This would be the third Israeli IAF attack in two days.

In part, Israel is sending a message to Russia and Iran that they will destroy any missile systems, and in particular, the S300 missile system, that are transferred into Syria or Lebanon.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Sunday night that Iran is trying to transfer sophisticated weapon systems to Hezbollah, and Israel will not let that happen, anywhere or anytime. He said Hezbollah is trying to establish a terror infrastructure along Israel’s border with Syria.

On Israel’s Independence Day, one of the Free Syrian Army groups sent a letter to Israel wishing Israel a happy Independence Day. The letter stated they look forward to peace with Israel and the opening of the Israeli Embassy in Damascus.

Syrian Rebels Claim They Overran Golan Spy Post Backed by Russians [video]

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Syrian rebels have posted a YouTube claiming that they overran a spy post on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights that was partially manned by Russians.

The video, picked up by The Daily Beast shows includes insignia and other signs that the post was run by Syrian intelligence with help from Russia. The post probably was used to monitor communications between rebel forces but also might have been used to tune in on the Israeli side of the strategic Golan Heights.

Photos of the location of IDF units were found bit the Free Syrian Army (FSA), confirming reports from Israel earlier this year that Russia is even more deeply involved in the Assad regime than previously estimated. Russian insignia were seen in the YouTube.

An FSA official told The Daily Beast that its fighters spotted more than dozen Russians in the area before the FSA overran the post.

Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russia’s military and intelligence services at New York University was quoted as saying that Russian advisers probably were “running an operation for detailed radio technical intelligence; we are not talking about intercepting telemetry and aircraft.”

With the ISIS advancing in northern Syria and closing in on cities in Iraq, including Baghdad, it is safe to assume that Israel would have preferred that Assad forces, even with the presence of Russian personnel, man a spy post across from the Israeli border instead of its being operated by rebels who just as easily could be overrun by Al Qaeda or ISIS jihadists.

Shelling on the Golan Heights: Syria Testing Israel’s Resolve?

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Although an open-ended cease-fire is in force with Gaza, two people were wounded in northern Israel on Wednesday in the course of three shelling attacks from Syria.

At around 10 pm, Syrian forces fired two mortar shells from across the Golan Heights, both exploding in open areas north of the Quneitra valley. It was the third attack in a single day, the most intensive shelling from Syria in months. No one was physically injured and no property damage was reported in the attack.

Earlier in the evening, a 52-year-old kosher supervisor at a winery on the Golan Heights was lightly wounded by Syrian tank fire aimed at an Israeli kibbutz along the border. The victim was evacuated to Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat (Safed). A local vineyard and a gas pipeline were both damaged in the attack.

Hours earlier, in the morning, an IDF officer was moderately wounded and two Israeli vehicles were damaged in a similar attack. A barrage of Syrian mortar shells was fired from across the border  — again, from the Quneitra area. The officer, who sustained shrapnel wounds to the chest, was airlifted to Rambam Medical Center.

The IDF attacked two Syrian positions in response to the mortar fire. IDF officials said Jerusalem holds the Syrian army responsible for maintaining order on the Syrian side of the border.

Originally security sources said the attacks were due to “errant fire” due to the conflict taking place between government troops and opposition forces in Syria.

Fierce fighting is reportedly taking place between the forces fighting on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad, and rebel fighters. It is not known which opposition forces are involved in this battle, nor whether some or all of the factions have banded together to fight Assad’s army.

The Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing has fallen into rebel hands, only 200 meters (219 yards) from the border with Israel. But whose?

At least two of the three opposition factions involved in the war have vowed to dedicate themselves to Israel’s destruction when they have ‘completed their task’ in Syria. One of those is the Islamic State, or ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.)

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have been assisting Assad since the start of the civil war in March 2011, as have the Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla terrorists. Other mercernary fighters have joined the effort as well.

Opposing them are three major, separate streams of rebels: the Western-backed ‘moderate’ secular and Muslim factions led by the Syrian National Coalition and its Free Syrian Army, the Islamic Front which is headed by the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front (Jabhat al Nusra) along with the Ahrar el-Sham, and which includes some 13 rebel brigades, all rejecting the Syrian National Coalition; and the ISIS  ‘Army of Islam’ comprised of 43 Salafi Muslim factions was formed last year in Syria, led by Sheikh Mohammed Zahran.

Last year Al Nusra also clashed with Kurdish militias over control of local gas resources and over the institution of Shari’a Islamic law in Kurdish areas. The same Al Nusra recently handed over long-missing American journalist Peter Theo Curtis, kidnapped by the group and held hostage since October 2012, to U.S. authorities via the Quneitra crossing, into Israel.

The IDF has ordered farmers and civilians to stay away from the border and part of the area has been closed to civilians as a precaution.

Report: Commander of Syrian Rebels Trained in Israel

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Abdul-Ilah al-Bashir, the new commander of the Free Syrian Army, secretly trained in Israel last year after being admitted into to the country for medical treatment, according to the Arabic language Al-Ahd website.

He was transferred to a hospital in Israel after he was wounded in a military operation. Rumors spread that he died and was buried in Syria, allegedly to distract attention from his training in Israel.

Syrian Rebels Ready for ‘Temporary Truce’ for Humanitarian Aid

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

The Free Syrian Army (FSA)  is prepared to honor a “temporary truce” in two provinces,  Homs and Rif Dimashq, to allow humanitarian aid to enter but as rejected a long-term ceasefire, the Arabic-language Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

A nine-month ceasefire has been suggested to allowed the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to oversee he destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.

FSA media and political coordinator Louay Miqdad told the newspaper, “We are fighting to overthrow the regime, and protect civilians. There are no chemical weapons stores in the areas that are under our control, which is something that the Assad regime itself acknowledges, while these storehouses are also not located on the front, so why should we stop fighting? On what basis has this ceasefire request been made?”

The FSA said it is “possible” to arrange a halt in fighting during the upcoming Eid Al-Adha holiday, as suggested by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/syrian-rebels-ready-for-temporary-truce-for-humanitarian-aid/2013/10/12/

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