Iraqi special forces advance in eastern Mosul
Detonating ISIS Truck Bomb West of Mosul- Aerial View
The ISIL is engaged in efforts to find a successor for the terrorist group's ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed on Saturday.
According to the dissident-backed London-based center, information obtained from reliable sources showed that the ISIL leaders in Iraq have called on other commanders of the terrorist group in Raqqa of Syria and the commander of Jeish al-Sham to convene in a secret place in Iraq.
According to the unnamed sources, the ISIL is seeking to hold a meeting to choose a successor for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi "to run a Caliphate for Muslims".
The news was released as contradictory reports have appeared in recent months on the fate of ISIL leader Al-Baghdadi.
Spokesman of Hashd al-Shaabi (the Iraqi volunteer forces) Ahmad al-Assadi said in mid November that the latest information and intel shows that ISIL Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is still in Iraq, hiding somewhere outside Mosul.
"The terrorist, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is in a region between the town of Tal Afar (some 54km North-West of Mosul) and the town of al-Baaj (157km to the South-West of Mosul)," al-Assadi was quoted as saying by Iraq's al-Ma'louma news agency.
He also said that the operations of the volunteer forces cover an area 14,000 sq/km around Mosul that includes the towns of al-Hazar, al-Baaj and its surrounding regions towards Tal Afar.
Based on an agreement made earlier, the Iraqi popular forces and Peshmarga Kurdish troops will not be part of the invading forces inside the two cities of Tal Afar and Mosul, while they will help tighten and maintain the siege on the rims of the two cities. Various units of Iraq's armed forces, including the army, police and anti-terrorism troops, lead the assault.
Al-Assadi's statement is the last in a string of reports on the fate of the notorious ISIL leader. During the last several months, many contradictory reports have surfaced the media about the health conditions and location of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
Syria army retakes another Aleppo neighborhood
Aleppo combat footage: Heavy battles as SAA retakes more eastern districts
Sappers leave Moscow for mine-clearance operation in Aleppo
Russian sappers left the Moscow region to conduct a mine clearance operation in liberated areas of eastern Aleppo, departing from Chkalovsky airport, Friday.
Russia warns against re-branding Nusra terrorists in Syria
Syria in Last 24 Hours: Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Army Offensive in Aleppo
The Syrian army continued attacks on the terrorists in Aleppo, and inflicted heavy losses on the militants in the last 24 hours.
The Syrian army killed and wounded scores of terrorists in at least three districts of the city of Aleppo.
The Syrian army also inflicted heavy losses on the terrorist groups in other key regions across Syria.
Syrian military forces inflicted major losses on Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups and pushed them back from more positions in at least three districts of Aleppo city.
The army men stormed the position of Jeish al-Fatah in the neighborhoods of al-Jazmani, al-Maysar, al-Halwaniyeh and a road connecting Aleppo city to the town of al-Bab, scoring more victories against militants.
Jeish al-Fatah has thus far suffered heavy casualties in the army attacks.
Fierce clashes are underway in al-Jazmani, al-Maysar and al-Halwaniyeh.
Reports said earlier on Friday that residents of Hanano Housing Project, whose district was freed from Jeish al-Fatah terrorists by the Syrian Army troops a couple of days ago, started returning home after the army established security and defused mines and bombs in residential areas, the governor of Aleppo said.
Hussein Diab said in a statement that 100 families, including 600 members returned to their houses in Hanano Housing Project after staying at the makeshift centers.
Diab noted that his department has been working round the clock to provide all services to the families that have arrived in the newly-liberated neighborhoods.
"Schools will start working next week after being closed for more than four years under the terrorists' siege and public buses will rerun soon, stressing that food and fuel supplies and all other necessary requirements will be provided to the families in the district," he added.
Syrian Army troops and popular forces drove Jeish al-Fatah terrorists out of the key district of Hanano Housing Project last week and started to fortify their positions in the newly-liberated district.
Syrian Army troops targeted the gatherings and movements of terrorists across the neighborhoods of the Southern city of Dara'a, leaving a large number of terrorists dead or wounded.
The army soldiers targeted terrorists' concentration centers in the neighborhood of al-Bajabjah, East of the Road to the Dam, Western and Northern sides of the refugee camp in Dara'a al-Balad district, inflicting a heavy death toll on the militants and destroying their positions.
Earlier reports said that a notorious field commander of a terrorist group affiliated to the Free Syrian Army was killed by a roadside bomb planted by the Syrian Army troops in Eastern Dara'a.
Field Commander of Liwa'a Tawhid al-Junoub Fawzi Eid al-Mosalma was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by the army soldiers on the Na'eima-Gharaz road.
Tens of vehicles, a large number of missiles and a large volume of ammunition were handed over to the Syrian Army troops by the militants that joined peace agreement with government in Western Ghouta.
The militants, who laid down arms and joined the peace agreement with the government in Khan al-Shieh town, handed over tens of armored vehicles, missiles, RPG rockets, rifles and ammunitions to the army soldiers.
The militant groups also handed over 23 kidnapped people to the army men.
Reports said earlier on Friday that the last group of militants that had joined the peace agreement with the Syrian government in Western Ghouta evacuated the two key towns of Khan al-Sheih and Zakiya under the Syrian Army troops' monitoring.
A major part of the last group of militants that comprise of 2,100 militants left the towns of Khan al-Sheih and Zakiya, leaving Western Damascus evacuated from terrorists.
The militants left Khan al-Sheih towards the terrorist-held regions in Idlib.
Based on field sources, Khan al-Sheih and its surroundings have been evacuated from militants, pushing Western Damascus one step more closer to sustainable security.
A major part of 2,100 local militants and their families were transferred from Khan al-Sheih and Zakiyeh to Idlib on Friday and the remaining militants are due to move to Idlib on Saturday.
65 government's green buses with 35 seats transferred the last group of militants from Western Damascus to Idlib.
The first group of militant left the region with 29 buses towards Idlib on Tuesday.
Arabic-language Anab Baladi news website reported that with the evacuation of militants from Khan al-Sheih and Zakiyeh, Western Ghouta has been practically emptied of militants, while two months ago the towns of Darayya and al-Mo'adhamiyeh al-Sham were emptied from the terrorists.
A number of militants, including several commanders, were killed and many more were wounded in Syrian army troop's attack on their position in Northern Homs.
The army men targeted terrorists' position in the surrounding areas of al-Rastan town, 20 km North of Homs city, killing a number of terrorists deployed in the position, including leaders of the terrorist groups.
Also, the army's artillery units pounded the gathering centers of the al-Nusra Front (recently changed name to Fatah al-Sham) and its other affiliated terrorist groups in the villages of al-Tiba al-Gharbia, Tal Dahab, and al-Sama’lil in al-Hola region in the Northern part of Homs province on Thursday.
Several Fatah al-Sham terrorists were killed while their ammunition and fortifications were also destroyed as a result of the artillery attacks.
The Syrian army also killed a number of the ISIL terrorists, injured others and destroyed their vehicles in Talit al-Awamid and the area to the North of al-Qariatin dam Southeast of Homs province.
Army units, operating in the Northern part of the province, directed strikes on the gatherings of al-Nusra Front in al-Ghanto and al-Sam’alil village, destroying a number of their vehicles as well as killing and injuring a number of terrorists.
The Syrian air force hit hard the military positions and gathering centers of al-Nusra Front terrorists in Talbiseh, al-Rastan and Teir Ma'ala in the Northern part of Homs province.
Two sites and a number of vehicles of the al-Nusra Front were destroyed and a number of its members were also killed.
The Syrian Air Force also destroyed a number of ISIL vehicles and killed a number of terrorists in Rasm al-Saba'a village East of Homs city.
Syrian Army troops targeted a large gathering of terrorists near a village in Northern Lattakia, killing or wounding a number of militants.
The army soldiers hit terrorists' concentration center near the village of Faleh, leaving a number of militants dead or wounded and destroying the equipment.
The Syrian army intensified its attacks on the terrorists in the Northern part of Lattakia province on Thursday.
The army units and the terrorists are now engaged in fierce clashes in Kabani region in Northern Lattakia province.
Meantime, the Syrian army's artillery and missile units pounded terrorists' military positions in Kabani region.
A number of terrorists were also killed and others were injured in air assaults carried out by the Syrian Air Force against their gatherings and positions in the Northern countryside of Lattakia province.
The airstrikes targeted the terrorists in the villages of Kabaneh, Ruweiset al-Alliyeh, Dahret al-Dighleh, Ba’arbayia and Hallouz in the Northern part of the province.
Also a number of their vehicles were destroyed in the raid.
Syrian Army troops fended off terrorists' attack on government forces' positions near the town of al-Salamiyah, killing and wounding several militants.
The army soldiers repelled terrorists' offensive on the village of al-Ramliyeh in the Western countryside of al-Salamiyah, inflicting a heavy death toll on the militants.
In the meantime, the army men opened heavy fire on terrorists' movements near the town of Hirbnafsa in Southwestern Hama, killing a number of militants.
The Syrian army and air force destroyed terrorists' military positions in Hama, killing and injuring scores of the militants.
The army units hit hard the terrorists' gathering centers in Kafr Zira, al-Latamina, Wadi al-Eis and al-Sayyad regions in the Northern part of Hama province, destroying four military vehicles, artillery units and several of their military positions.
Several terrorists, including Tarek Khattab who was in charge of the artillery unit of Jeish al-Izzah terrorist group, were killed in the army offensive in Northern Hama.
Meantime, the terrorists' gathering centers and fortification came under heavy offensive by the Syrian army in the regions of Morek, Atshan, Skeik, North of Ma'an and Tibet al-Imam as well as the farms located between al-Zakat and Kafr Zita.
A large number of terrorists were killed in the operations and a number of their military vehicles were also destroyed.
The Syrian air force, meantime, targeted the terrorists’ gatherings in Morek, al-Quneitrat, al-Araba’een area, North of Souran, Skeik towns and Tal Tarae in the Northern part of Hama province, destroying the terrorists’ weapons and ammunition depots, positions, military vehicles in addition to inflicting at least 40 casualties on the militants.
A military vehicle carrying members of Faylaq al-Sham and Fatah al-Sham Front (previously known as the al-Nusra Front) sustained heavy damage in a roadside bomb blast on a road in Idlib province with heavy casualties reported.
The vehicle, with a number of fighters from Faylaq al-Sham and Fatah al-Sham Front on board, was hit badly in a roadside bomb blast on the Kansafrah-Kafr Nabal road killing and injuring several militants.
Usually, such attacks are carried out by ISIL cells or ultra-radicalized al-Qaeda linked units relatively abundant in groups like Jund al-Aqsa.
Erdogan’s Hard Times in Syria
Russia Again Disciplines The Wannabe Sultan
The Russians just gave (again) a public lecture of how to handle the wannabe-Sultan Erdogan.
Turkey entered Syria to end al-Assad’s rule: President Erdoğan - November 29
The Turkish military launched its operations in Syria to end the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Nov. 29.
“In my estimation, nearly 1 million people have died in Syria. These deaths are still continuing without exception for children, women and men. Where is the United Nations? What is it doing? Is it in Iraq? No. We preached patience but could not endure in the end and had to enter Syria together with the Free Syrian Army [FSA],” Erdoğan said at the first Inter-Parliamentary Jerusalem Platform Symposium in Istanbul.
“Why did we enter? We do not have an eye on Syrian soil. The issue is to provide lands to their real owners. That is to say we are there for the establishment of justice. We entered there to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror. [We didn’t enter] for any other reason,” the president said.
If Turkish troops were in Syria to remove its President, instead with the flimsy excuse of fighting ISIS under a badly fitting UN mandate, they would be a hostile invasion force and a legitimate target for Syria and its allies. The remark was thus stupid. It weakened the Turkish position.
Erdogan was immediately told so:
Kremlin asks Erdogan to clarify ‘anti-Assad’ goals in Syria - November 30
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement that his goal in Syria was to end the rule of Bashar Assad has caused consternation in the Kremlin, with officials saying it contradicted previous assurances and was out of sync with Moscow’s take on the situation.
"The statement was indeed news, this is a very serious statement. [It] is in discord with the previous [statements] in general and with our understanding of the situation," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.
"We hope that in the near future there will be explanations on this from our Turkish partners," he said, adding that Russia is the only country whose armed forces are in Syria on a legitimate basis – at the direct request of the Syrian authorities.
The emphasized part is a hardly hidden direct threat. Erdogan put his forces in Syria into immediate jeopardy.
Erdogan tried to save the situation, promising a retreat from his statement for at least some gain for the Jihadis he supports.
Erdogan and Putin discuss #Aleppo for the third time this week: Disagreement over ceasefire? - November 30
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed the grave situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by phone on Nov. 30 for the third time in a week, with the two “agreeing on the need for a ceasefire,” presidential sources said.
The sources said the two leaders agreed to step up efforts to stop clashes in Aleppo and deliver humanitarian aid to civilians in the besieged city.
That was the Turkish version of the call. The Russian statement on that call was sparse and did not mention any ceasefire.
Thus this translation from Diplomatese:
"I will take that statement back if you give me a ceasefire deal in Aleppo," Erdogan told President Putin.
"Screw you," was the response.
Turkey, Russia see need for Aleppo truce but divisions remain - December 1
Lavrov said the bloodshed must stop in Syria and the region, that Moscow was ready to talk to all parties in the war, and that it would continue cooperating with Turkey. But he also vowed Russia would continue its operations in eastern Aleppo and would rescue the city from what he described as terrorists.
Erdogan's statement, aimed at his supporters in Turkey and elsewhere, created a legal mess for his troops. The attempt to sell a retreat from it for some gain was harshly rejected by Russia. Now all Erdogan could do was to take his statement back with no gain at all. This was quite a loss of face for him - a well deserved one.
Operation in Syria only targets terror, Erdoğan clarifies - December 1
Turkey’s military operation in Syria is not against any country or person but terror groups in general, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, in contrast to earlier remarks that Turkey’s objective was to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad following.
“The aim of the Euphrates Shield Operation is no country or person but only terror organizations. No one should doubt this issue that we have uttered over and over, and no one should comment on it in another fashion or try to [misrepresent its meaning],” Erdoğan said at a 30th gathering with village chiefs at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on Dec. 1.
Hahaha - see how that dog pulls its tail between its legs - whining in retreat?
The game Erdogan tried would probably have worked with Merkel, or some other EU politician. Russia will have none of it. No means no. When Russia says stay out of Al-Bab it means stay out of Al-Bab. With regard to Syria Erdogan now has to do what he is told to do. He was just publicly lectured about that again. Still, I doubt that he really learned the lesson.
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Syria in Last 24 Hours: Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Army Offensive in Aleppo
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Syrian Army Warns Militants to Leave Southern Damascus Immediately
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