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ISIS update 2/13/2016..Syrian conflict enters new unpredictable phase

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Syrian conflict enters new unpredictable phase

“We Are In A New Cold War”: Russia PM Delivers Stark Warning To NATO

It was just two days ago when Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev warned that if Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar invade Syria in a transparent attempt to shore up their Sunni proxy armies currently under siege by Moscow’s warplanes and Hezbollah, a “new world war” would be inevitable.

He also indicated that such a conflict would likely drag on for “decades.”

“Do they really think they would win such a war very quickly? That’s impossible, especially in the Arabic world,” Medvedev said. “There everyone is fighting against everyone… everything is far more complicated. It could take years or decades.”

On Saturday, Medvedev was back at it with the hyperbole (or at least we hope it’s hyperbole) in Munich where more than 60 foreign and defense ministers are gathered for the 52nd Munich Security Conference. In his speech, the PM challenged NATO’s military maneuvers in the Baltics as well as the alliance’s general approach towards relations with The Kremlin.

“The political line of NATO toward Russia remains unfriendly and closed,” he said in a speech to the conference. “It can be said more sharply: We have slid into a time of a new cold war.”

……….“Kerry said Russia is defying the will of the international community with its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine and its military intervention in Syria on behalf of President Bashar Assad,” AP wrote earlier this morning, adding that “He [also] repeated allegations that Russian airstrikes in Syria have not been directed at terrorists but rather at moderate opposition groups supported by the U.S. and its European and Arab partners.”

……………..“To date, the vast majority, in our opinion, of Russia’s attacks have been against legitimate opposition groups and to adhere to the agreement it made, we think it is critical that Russia’s targeting change,” Kerry said. “If people who want to be part of the conversation are being bombed, we’re not going to have much of a process.”

“The opposition may be pushed back here and there but they are not going to surrender,” he added.

We would beg to differ. They may wage a protracted war of attrition once the dust settles but in the short-term they’re almost surely going to surrender. They have no choice. “Russia said on Saturday a ceasefire deal for Syria agreed by major powers was more likely to fail than succeed, as Syrian government forces backed by further Russian air strikes gained more ground against rebels near Aleppo,” Reuters writes. And it’s not just Aleppo, some reports now indicate government forces are moving into Raqqa, in what may be the first sign that Russia and Iran are setting their sights on the ISIS capital, a move that could preempt a Gulf state military intervention by effectively removing the excuse for the Saudis to be in Syria, forcing Riyadh to either admit it’s going to war to oust Assad or stay at home.

Turkey & Saudi Arabia ready to launch ground operation in Syria



Erdogan will finish badly

Turkish PM implies Ankara will take action in Syria

Iran warns against illusions of Syria military solution

US: Syria president deluded if he thinks of military solution

Toner: “We think Assad should leave yesterday.” 12 Feb 2016

Syria War video on today 13 February 2016 SAA offensive to Rakka

The Race To Raqqa Is On – To Keep Its Unity Syria Must Win

The race to Raqqa is on. Syria and its allies are competing with the U.S. and its allies to snatch east Syria from the Islamic State. Raqqa in eastern Syria is held by the Islamic State as are the other cities along the Euphrates towards Iraq. To defeat the Islamic State in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and other eastern Syrian towns and to liberate them is the aim of all purported enemies of the Islamic State. But this question has to be seen in a larger context. Could the U.S. and its allies capture Raqqa or Deir Ezzor and with it parts of eastern Syria it could use them as a bargaining chip to gain some negotiation power with Syria and its allies over the future of Syria. Alternatively it create a Sunni state in east-Syria and west-Iraq. Mosul would be part of such a Sunni state and it would probably be put under the tutelage of Turkey. There have been U.S. plans for such a “Sunnistan” and a revision of the Sykes-Picot borders for some time.

For Syria and its allies the upholding of the unity of Syria is a major objective. To leave Raqqa and the eastern oil fields to the U.S. would be a devastating loss. Syria and its allies have therefore to beat the U.S. and its allies in the race to Raqqa and the larger east Syria. According to Southfront Syria just made the first major move. A brigade of the Syrian Arab Army attacked the positions of the Islamic State along the Ithriyah to Raqqa road. The town Tal Abu Zayhn has been taken on the way to the first objective, the Tabaqah military airport. Additional supporting forces from various allied groups are assembling in Ithriyah to later support the attack.

The U.S. move towards east-Syria is still in preparation. The first U.S. plan was to use the Syrian-Kurdish YPG forces of north-east Syria. These were labeled Syrian Democratic Forces after attaching a few fighters from Arab tribes. These forces would have attacked Raqqa from the north. But the Kurds did not want to invade the Arab lands they would not be able to hold. Their aim is to connect to the Kurdish enclave in north-west Syria along the Turkish border. The U.S. is coming up with a new plan. There are only sketches visible so far and the following is just somewhat informed speculation. The U.S. has extended the runway of the agricultural Rumeilan/Abu Hajar airfield (map) in the Kurdish held area in north east Syria to be able to supply larger operations in the wider area: This location has been chosen because it’s just 100 miles (160 kilometers) from ISIS frontline positions and some of its lucrative oil fields, but well within territory held by Kurdish fighters known as the YPG. The runway is being nearly doubled in length from about 2,300 feet to 4,330 feet (700 to 1,320 meters) — long enough, say, to receive C130 transport planes. A small apron is also being paved.

Some U.S. special operation forces are said to already operate from there. This is the vanguard on a reconnaissance mission. It was publicly disclosed that one brigade if the U.S. 101st Airborne Division would go to Iraq to train, advise and assist the Iraqi forces for an attack on Mosul. Some 1,800 soldiers from the 101st’s Headquarters and its 2nd Brigade Combat Team will deploy soon on regular rotations to Baghdad and Irbil to train and advise Iraqi army and Kurdish peshmerga forces who are expected in the coming months to move toward Mosul, the Islamic State group’s de facto headquarters in Iraq. But Col. Pat Lang was told that two brigades of the 101st would deploy: I was told today that two brigades of the 101st Airborne Division are going to Iraq, not just one. This probably is related to the Saudi Juggernaut.

The Saudi “juggernaut” was the recent announcement that the Saudis would be willing to send troops to Syria. Nobody was, at first, taking that serious but it now starts to make some sense. The Saudis today confirmed their intent: Saudi’s decision to send troops to Syria in an attempt to bolster and toughen efforts against militants is “final” and “irreversible,” the Saudi military spokesman announced on Thursday. Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, said that Riyadh is “ready” and will fight with its U.S.-led coalition allies to defeat ISIS militants in Syria, however, he said Washington is more suitable to answer questions on further details about any future ground operations.

The statement comes as Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman visited NATO headquarters in Brussels to discuss the Syrian civil war. The Saudis would fight under the control of the one brigade of the 101st airborne that was not announced to go for Mosul. The Saudis would deploy from Saudi Arabia likely via a U.S. controlled airstrip in west Iraq towards Syria while the brigade from the 101st would probably deploy from the Kurdish area in north Iraq through the Kurdish areas in north-east Syria towards Raqqa. Raqqa would thereby be attacked from a north-eastern and a south-eastern. The airport of Rumeilan/Abu Hajar would be one of the major supply bases.

Such a move of forces would be quite large and over relative long distances. But most of the area is desert and modern motorized military equipment could easily cover those distances in a day or two. This would put Saudi troops into Syria. If they would take Raqqa or Deir Ezzor and the eastern Syrian oilfields they would NEVER let go of it unless Syria would bend to the Saudi demand of introducing an Islamist led government. The plan is workable but it would also instigate a large mobilization of Shia forces and could lead to a bigger conflict. The Russian Prime Minister Medvedev warned today that new Arab forces entering the Syrian war could spark a much wider war. The Saudi operation was said today to start within two month. The Syrian government forces and their allies will now have to rush to the east to protect the unity of the country. The U.S. for its part may want to hinder the Syrian advantage by whatever means it has, including – possibly – some “erroneous” bombing. The race for Raqqa, and Syria’s future, is on.

KSA, UAE to provide Special Forces for anti-ISIL campaign

Anti-Syria militants receive “excellent quantities” of missiles

Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers deploy in base near Mosul

Syria: SAA/Hezbollah Operations in N. Aleppo: Tamorah Quarries


URGENT: Turkey Shells Airbase Held by Kurds in Aleppo Province

Turkey’s army shelled Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) positions near the city of Azaz in NorthwesternSyria.

Turkish forces have started shelling an airbase and a village, recently captured by Kurds, in Aleppo province in Syria on Saturday.

A Kurdish official confirmed that the shelling targeted the Menagh air base located South of Azaz in Aleppo Governorate.

“Turkish forces started shelling People’s Protection Units [YPG] postions on the territory of the Minnigh airbase,” a YPG spokesperson told the Arabic-language TV channel, Al-Mayadeen.

Syria: Gov’t Forces Seal off Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway from ISIL Infiltration

The Syrian Army troops and popular forces continued to advance against the ISIL terrorists in the Northeastern part of Hama province and restored security to a long chunk of Salamiyah-Raqqa highway following hours of intense battle.

The Syrian army troops, Liwa Suqour al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade), Fouj al-Joulan (Golani Regiment), the National Defense Forces (NDF), and the pro-government Palestinian militia “Liwa al-Quds” (Jerusalem Brigade) made significant advances in the Eastern territories of Hama, and cutoff the ISIL access to the Zakiyeh crossroad that leads into the Hama province’s Eastern side.

With the Zakiyah crossroad under their control in Southern Raqqa, the Syrian Armed Forces successfully sealed off the Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway.

The government forces continued to push Northeast towards the strategic Tabaqa Military Airport in Raqqa province.

In the meantime, the key town of Ithriyah is no longer threatened by the ISIL terrorists that wrecked havoc on the Syrian government’s only supply route to the Aleppo province along the Khanasser-Ithriyah Road.

Currently, the Syrian Armed Forces are approximately 35 km away from the Tabaqa Military Airport – the capture of this site is their primary objective in Raqqa at the moment.

Also on Friday, The Syrian pro-government forces imposed full control over Tal Madakhah after a violent battle with the ISIL terrorists positioned at this small hilltop near Ithriyah.

Following the capture of Tal Madakhah in the Ithriyah countryside, the Syrian Armed Forces continued their advance along the Raqqa-Salamiyah Highway, attacking ISIL’s defense lines at the Height No.7 in Jabal Ahed near Zakiyeh.

The Syrian government forces captured the height before nightfall on Thursday evening; this paved the way for them to establish full control over the Western mountains of Jabal Ahed in the Hama province Eastern part.

Syria: Some Persian Gulf Arab States Continue to Supply Militants with New Arms

Syria: Militants Withdraw From More Lands East of Hama

Iraqi Volunteer Forces Warn to Strike Back at Saudi Arabia

Iraqi volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) in a statement warned Saudi Arabia not to even think about dispatching military forces to Iraq.

The warning came after some Arab media reported that Saudi Arabia and its allies are planning to conduct a joint military maneuver near Iraq’s Western borders.

“We will turn Iraq into graveyard for Saudi forces if they dare to attack Iraq,” the Arabic-language media outlets quoted Iraqi Volunteer Forces Spokesman Ahmad al-Assadi as saying on Saturday.

“We warn Saudi Arabia and any other country that dreams of making an aggression against Iraq that if they get near the Iraqi soil, the volunteer forces will stand up to them,” the statement added.

On Friday, the Russian Sputnik news agency quoted Turkish diplomats as saying that at the risk of fueling sectarian tensions, Saudi Arabia and Turkey plan to conduct joint military exercises.

According to Turkish diplomats, Ankara is planning to carry out military exercises with Riyadh in the coming year.

The goal is for the two nations to “cooperate against common threats”, Sputnik reported.

“The planned exercises do not particularly aim at any specific threat,” said a senior diplomat, according to Defense News.

While the specific “threat” is not mentioned, some analysts are concerned that military coordination between the region’s largest Sunni countries will be viewed through the lens of a broader sectarian conflict.

“This is clearly a move that would provoke an Iranian response, in some way or another,” one analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Defense News.

Both nations are already supporting the Syrian opposition against the government of Bashar al-Assad, and both have also shown signs of sending troops into Syria.

Ankara has been increasing its troop presence along the Syrian border, leaving Russia concerned that an invasion could be imminent.

“We have good reasons to believe that Turkey is actively preparing for a military invasion of a sovereign state – the Syrian Arab Republic,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters. “We’re detecting more and more signs of Turkish armed forces being engaged in covert preparations for direct military actions in Syria.”

Riyadh is also showing increased signs of invading Syria. Last Thursday, the Saudi embassy in Washington DC tweeted that the Saudi Ministry of Defense stands ready to deploy ground troops to Syria to aid in anti-Daesh coalition efforts.

According to Saudi officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, such a scenario would involve “thousands of special forces,” and would most likely be conducted “in coordination with Turkey.”

This possibility has been strongly criticized by analysts.

“If Ankara and Riyadh invade Syria, they’ll be supporting [Daesh] and other terrorist groups against Assad,” activist Stephen Lendman wrote for Global Research.

Writing for the Fiscal Times, journalist Patrick Smith also pointed out stressed that such action would be “rampant with complications.”

“So is the increasing military involvement of the Turks, who are Washington’s other regional ally in the coalition against….against who knows whom? It’s either [Daesh], as declared, or Damascus – as is cynically evident on the ground.”

Turkey and Saudi Arabia are also both part of an effort to create an alleged “Islam Army,” ostensibly aimed at combating terrorism in the region and consisting of 34 Sunni Islam nations.

Almost the entire range of extremist and terrorist groups are supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, with their key commanders and leaders being Saudi nationals. ISIL, Al-Nusra and other extremist groups pursue the same line of ideology exercised and promoted by Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism. Hundreds of Saudi clerics are among the ranks of ISIL and Al-Nusra to mentor the militants. Wahhabism is now the only source of the textbooks taught at schools in the self-declared capital of the ISIL terrorist group, Raqqa, in Northeastern Syria resembling the texts and lessons taught to schoolgoers in Saudi Arabia. The Wahhabi ideology, an extremist version of Sunni Islam that is promoted almost only in Saudi Arabia, sees all other faiths – from other interpretations of Sunni Islam to Shiism, Christianity and Judaism – as blasphemy, meaning that their followers should be decapitated as nonbelievers.

Early in February, the Saudi Defense Ministry said it stood ready to deploy ground troops to Syria to allegedly aid the US-led anti-ISIL, also known as Daesh, coalition.

Riyadh has been a member of the US-led coalition that has been launching airstrikes against Daesh in Syria since September 2014, without the permission of Damascus or the United Nations. In December 2015, Saudi Arabia started its own Muslim 34-nation coalition to allegedly fight Islamic extremism.

Daesh or ISIL/ISIS is a Wahhabi group mentored by Saudi Arabia and has been blacklisted as a terrorist group everywhere in the world, including the United States and Russia, but Saudi Arabia.

Syria, Tehran and Moscow have issued stern warnings to Riyadh, stressing that the Saudi intruders, who in fact intend to rescue the terrorists that are sustaining heavy defeats these days, will be crushed in Syria.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem warned that any ground operation in Syria without Damascus’ approval is an “act of aggression”, warning that the Saudi aggressors “would go back home in coffins”.

In Tehran, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said Saudi Arabia doesn’t have the guts to send its armed forces to Syria.

“They claim they will send troops (to Syria) but I don’t think they will dare do so. They have a classic army and history tells us such armies stand no chance in fighting irregular resistance forces,” Jafari said.

“This will be like a coup de grâce for them. Apparently, they see no other way but this, and if this is the case, then their fate is sealed,” he added.

Jafari, said this is just cheap talks, but Iran welcomes the Saudi decision if they decide to walk on this path.

Tens of ISIL Terrorists, Including Non-Syrians, Killed in Deir Ezzur

Syrian Army, NDF Capture More Lands East of Damascus

Syrian Air Force Pounds Militant Defense Lines across Aleppo Province

Syria: Army Destroys Terrorists’ Military Positions in Dara’a Province

Syrian Warplanes Continue to Strike Militant Centers in Lattakia


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