War Report 25th August

Video: China Increases Its Involvement in the Syrian War/ THREE VERY CONFLICTING VIEWS ON TURKEY INVASION OF NORTHERN SYRIA/ Iraqi airstrike kills 19 senior Daesh commanders east of Mosul  /Amnesty International and Human Rights Biased Report on Eastern Ukraine, Accomplices to War Crimes/ Four Iran Ships “Harassed” US Destroyer, Carried Out “High Speed Intercept” In Strait Of Hormuz

Video: China Increases Its Involvement in the Syrian War

Last week Director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China’s Central Military Commission, Guan Youfei arrived in Damascus for talks with Syrian Defense Minister Fahad Jassim al-Freij and other officials of the Damascus government. Guan announced that Beijing and Damascus had come to an agreement that the Chinese military will provide humanitarian aid to Syria and discussed a possibility of involvement of Chinese military servicemen in training of the Syrian army personnel and other operations to ensure security in the Arab country. ( see link for full article) 


ONE: Turkish Army Invades Syria, Attacks ISIS…Really!

On August 23, the Jaish al-Fateh operation room launched an offensive on the strategic hill of Um Alqara that the Syrian army had recently seized in southern Aleppo. The hill overlooks the strategic road that links the Ramouseh Neighborhood and Khan Tuman. This is why the militants launched an assault to retake it from the government forces. The militants’ offensive had faced a though response from the Syrian government forces, Syrian and Russian warplanes operating in the area.

As result of the failed counter-attack on Um Alqara pro-militant sources were forced to recognize that fire pressure of the Syrian army on the militants’ positions does not allow delivering of supplies through it. While it’s complicated to estimate the total casualties of the sides in recent days, the Jaish al-Fatah confirmed that the operation room recently lost 11 field commanders.

The Syrian army and Hezbollah have attacked Jaish al-Fatah’s positions at the Armament College in southwestern Aleppo. The pro-government forces were able to enter the area on August 23 and on August 24 intense clashes continued there.

On August 24, Turkish military, accompanied with some 1,500 Turkish-backed militants from the Free Syrian Army, launched a military operation to liberate the strategic city of Jarablus in northeastern Syria. According to Turkish authorities, the operation is also supported by the US-led coalition air power. Since August 24 morning, the Turkish army’s artillery has hit ISIS targets near the city over 400 times. The military advance began at around 4 a.m. local time with Turkish special forces crossed the Syrian border. In case of the success, the Turkish operation will undermine any hopes of the US-backed Democratic Union Party (PYD) to expand control along the Syrian-Turkish border and set a de-facto independent state in northeastern Syria.


TWO: Turkey Crosses into Syria: Unipolar Conspiracy or Multipolar Coordination?

However ‘inconvenient’ it may be for the most gung-ho (usually foreign-based) supporters of Syria to admit, Damascus and Ankara have been engaged in secret talks for months now in the Algerian capital of Algiers, as has been repeatedly confirmed by many multiple media sources ever since this spring. Moreover, Turkey just dispatched one of its deputy intelligence chiefs to Damascus a few days ago to meet with his high-level Syrian counterparts, so this might explain the reason why Russia and Iran aren’t condemning Turkey’s incursion into Syria, nor why the Syrian officials aren’t loudly protesting against it either. More and more, the evidence is pointing to Turkey’s operation being part of a larger move that was coordinated in advance with Syria, Russia, and Iran. Nevertheless, for domestic political reasons within both Syria and Turkey, neither side is expected to admit to having coordinated any of this, and it’s likely that bellicose rhetoric might be belched from Ankara just as much as it’s predictable that Damascus will rightfully speak about the protection of its sovereignty.

What’s most important, though, isn’t to listen so much to Turkey and Syria, but to watch and observe what Russia and Iran say and do, since these are the two countries most capable of defending Syria from any legitimate aggression against its territory and which have been firmly standing behind it for years now, albeit to differing qualitative extents though with complementary synergy (i.e. Russia’s anti-terrorist air operation and Iran’s special forces ground one).  This isn’t in any way to ‘excuse’, ‘apologize for’, or ‘explain away’ the US’ opportunistic and illegal inadvertent contribution to this coordinated multipolar campaign, but to accurately document how and why it decided to involve itself in this superficially Turkish-led venture, namely because it was cleverly misled by Erdogan into thinking that this is a precondition for the normalization of relations between both sides….


THREE: Turkey Invades Northern Syria — Truth of Turkish “Coup” Revealed?

First, with US warplanes providing close air support  for Turkish operations, claims by Ankara that the US was behind an attempted coup in July appear to have been fabrications and the coup itself likely staged.

US Vice President Joseph Biden made an official visit to Turkey just this week in what was the highest level visit by a US representative since the attempted coup in July. Vice President Biden discussed bilateral relations and joint US-Turkish military cooperation.

Reuters in its report, “With Biden visit, U.S. seeks balance with truculent Turkey,” would claim:

Biden, who visited Latvia on Tuesday, will look to show support with Turkey, while raising concern about the extent of the crackdown, according to officials. Turkey will press its case for Gulen’s extradition.

“The vice president will also reaffirm that the United States is doing everything we can to support Turkey’s ongoing efforts to hold accountable those responsible for the coup attempt while ensuring the rule of law is respected during the process,” a senior Obama administration official told reporters, briefing ahead of Biden’s visit on condition of anonymity.

It is difficult to believe that Fethullah Gülen could have orchestrated a violent military coup while residing in the United States without the explicit approval and support of the United States government. Thus, for the US to “hold accountable those responsible for the coup attempt” would require the identification and detainment of those Americans who were involved….

Iraqi airstrike kills 19 senior Daesh commanders east of Mosul

More than a dozen commanders of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group have been killed when Iraqi fighter jets carried out a precision strike in Iraq’s troubled northern province of Nineveh.

The Iraqi Joint Operations Command announced in a statement on Saturday that the military aircraft struck a militant gathering in al-Sahel al-Aysar region, which lies east of the militant-held city of Mosul, leaving 19 senior Daesh figures dead, Arabic-language al-Baghdadia television reported.

The statement added that self-proclaimed Daesh governor Ayad Hamed Mohal al-Jumail, better known by the nom de guerre Abu Yahya, was among those killed in the aerial attack.

Hundreds of Iraqi families continue to flee southern Mosul as army soldiers and fighters from Popular Mobilization Units are taking up positions around the city.

Hisham al-Hashimi, a consultant to the Baghdad government on the anti-Daesh campaign, said the offensive for the liberation of Mosul was slated for late September….

Russia calls for airport closure in Northern Iraq. Fierce operation in Syria draws near

Russian government has announced that it aims to launch an operation in Syria against IS, urging Iraqi officials to cancel all flights in Erbil and Sulaimaniyah airports in order to prevent any hazardous incidents from happening.

According to Itartas, Russian news agency, Russia announced that it is set to launch an extensive military operation under the title “pervasive destruction”, using 69 Sukhoi fighters, Tupolev bomber 160, submarines and ships in Mediterranean Sea.

Therefore, Russian state has urged Iraq to put a halt to the operation of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah airports in a move to prepare for the upcoming military operations.

Russia, which has already launched its air strikes since some time ago aims to extend its pervasive operation. This move comes as a Russian fighter has recently been shot down by Turkish army in Syria.

Russia generally launches its cruise missile attacks against IS from Caspian Sea, which necessarily move across the airspace of Iran and Northern Iraq before their reaching Syrian territory. Russia has officially asked for these two countries’ permission to use their airspace.

Saudi sources also announced that this country has held its flights to northern Iraq in abeyance due to heightened military actions in this region.

Last week, Iraq blocked its airspace for 48 hours, for heightened Russian military actions in Syria were in process.

Airplane flights in Northern Iraq came back into normal schedule since Wednesday,  while Sweden said it will suspend its flights from Saturday….

Amnesty International and Human Rights Biased Report on Eastern Ukraine, Accomplices to War Crimes

When a true photo is used for a Human Rights lie

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued a report on July 21, 2016 on the human rights situation in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. The report can only be described as covering up the ongoing war crimes being perpetrated by the governing regime in Kyiv, Ukraine since it launched its ‘Anti-Terrorist Operation’ (civil war) in April 2014. The war was launched in order to crush resistance in Donbass to the illegal coup d’etat and seizure of power in Kyiv in February 2014 by the movement calling itself ‘Maidan’.

Coincidentally, artillery and other attacks by Maidan Ukraine against the rebel Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics in Donbass intensified during the past two months, the very time frame in which the human rights defenders were preparing their report for publication.

‘Human rights’ report on Ukraine is everything but

The 65-page report by the two agencies is titled You Don’t Exist: Arbitrary Detentions, Enforced Disappearances, and Torture in Eastern Ukraine. It downplays the grim details as well as international dimension of Ukraine’s two-plus year of ‘anti-terrorist’ civil war. It argues that the victims of the war share equal responsibility for rights violations as the perpetrators. …

Four Iran Ships “Harassed” US Destroyer, Carried Out “High Speed Intercept” In Strait Of Hormuz

Following the recent revelation that the Obama administration paid Iran $400 million in ransom money to release 4 US hostages, perhaps Tehran was looking for a tip, because moments ago a US defense official said that four Iranian ships carried out a “high speed intercept” of a US destroyer in the strait of hormuz, an incident that the official dubbed “unsafe and unprofessional”, cited by Reuters.


As Reuters adds, the four vessels belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps “harassed” a U.S. destroyer on Tuesday by carrying out a “high speed intercept” in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. Defense official said on Wednesday.

The Defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said two of the Iranian vessels came within 300 yards of the USS Nitze in an action that was “unsafe and unprofessional.”

As a reminder, on January 12, the Iran navy seized 2 US navy boats and their crewmen, for “illegally entering Iranian waters.” It released the captives one day later after a thorough questioning, and receipt of an apology. Less than a week later, on January 17, Iran would receive $400 million in non-USD denominated bills to release 4 US hostages…

US gave another $1.3 billion of Iran money

US payment of $400 million of Iranian money which sparked outcry among American politicians was followed by another transfer of $1.3 billion, it has been reported. The total sum of $1.7 billion was related to an arms deal that Iran signed before 1979 when the Shah was a close ally of the United States but Washington was refusing to give it back.

When the news of the Obama administration’s $400 million payoff was first broken it set off a firestorm in the United States.

The partisan bickering which followed the payment was so intense that few people asked about what happened to the balance of the Iranian money.

US government officials have now revealed that the remaining $1.3 billion was sent less than two months after Iran received the first installment in cash in January.

“Iran received the balance of $400 million in the Trust Fund as well as roughly $1.3 billion representing a compromise on the interest,” US Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Julia Frifield has said. 

The payment was confirmed by the State Department official to The Weekly Standard, an opinion magazine published by the American mass media behemoth News Corporation reported on Tuesday.

Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran in an unmarked cargo plane to cover the first $400 million.

Although the “mechanics” of the second payoff was not confirmed, it was most likely made in cash since the US has no banking relationship with Tehran, The Weekly Standard speculated.

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