Russian plane worth £7m shot down by Turkish-backed forces as military offensive launched

A RUSSIAN reconnaissance plane has been shot down above the war-torn Syrian province of Idlib as a Turkish-backed operation against forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad gets underway.

By SIMON OSBORNE
Initial reports suggest the £7 million aircraft was brought down by Syria’s Turkish-backed National Army. There are also reports the revolutionary faction had destroyed two Syrian government tanks during violent clashes.  The latest developments bring NATO member Turkey and Russian-backed Syria close to the brink of direct confrontation a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the launch of a new military operation was imminent.

Russian warplanes have continued to bombard rebel-held towns in northwest Syria again as Turkish artillery supported insurgent attacks elsewhere across the region.

In Geneva, the United Nations refugee chief called for a halt to the fighting to allow hundreds of thousands of trapped civilians to move to places of safety.

Russia and Turkey back opposing sides in the nine-year-old conflict. The Kremlin, which has supported Mr al-Assad’s push with air strikes against the rebel militia, said a clash between Turkish and Syrian forces would be a “worst-case scenario” and Russia would work to prevent the situation from worsening.

Syrian troops supported by Russian warplanes and special forces have been battling since December to eradicate the last rebel bastions in Idlib and Aleppo provinces in what could be one of the final chapters of the bloody civil war.

But has Turkish troops took up strategic positions across Idlib, Mr Erdogan said he would not leave the region “to the devices of the Assad regime”.

The Turkish leader told MPs: “Turkey has completed preparations for the implementation of its plan on Idlib, just like we did with previous operations.

“Frankly speaking, an operation in Idlib is only a matter of time.

“Turkey won’t leave Idlib to the devices of the Assad regime.”

Tensions in Idlib have escalated further since Turkey and Russia  failed to reach an agreement after two rounds of talks in the last two weeks.

Idlib

A convoy of Turkish military vehicles rolls into Idlib (Image: GETTY)

Idlib

A Turkish tank in Syria’s war-torn Idlib province (Image: GETTY)

 

Syrian opposition forces supported by Turkey have launched large-scale attacks on Syrian government troops last week, particularly on Saraqib and the Nayrab settlement.

The fighting also involved supporters of the Jabhat al-Nusra group which outlawed in Russia.

The Russian-backed Syrian government troops thwarted the attacks and Moscow said the militants suffered substantial losses.

A Syrian government offensive to eradicate the last rebel strongholds in northwest Syria has led to some of the most serious confrontations yet between NATO member Ankara and Damascus, and prompted Turkey to send thousands of troops and convoys of heavy weapons to the border area.

Turkey has taken in about 3.7 million Syrian refugees since the war started and says it cannot handle any more over its border, which is now closed.

The United Nations says more than 900,000 people, mostly women and children, have fled their homes in Idlib since early December.

A Turkish official said recent talks with Russia had not been “completely without a result” and that the discussions had moved forward without reaching a final decision.

The official said: “Russia has maintained its position that Turkey withdraws from Idlib and evacuates its observation posts since the beginning.

Idlib

Turkey had warned of fresh military operations in Idlib (Image: GETTY)

 

“Withdrawing from Idlib or evacuating the observation posts is not on the agenda.”

“Various exercises are being discussed. For example, ensuring security through Turkish and Russian security officials and holding joint patrols could be possible.”

The Turkish Defence Ministry said this afternoon: “As a result of an air attack on our elements in the Idlib region to provide a truce, two of our hero gunmates were martyred and five of our hero gunmen were injured.

“The determined targets have been put under fire and continue to be taken.” (Click to Source)

 

 

Complete Jewish Bible

 

 

The blogging hounds recovery ad

Turkey Asks U.S. for Patriot Missiles to Deter Russia in Syria

 Updated on 

 

  • Revelation followed by more Turkish fatalities in Idlib
  •  Turkey is determined to halt Syrian offensive on rebel bastion

Turkey has asked the U.S. to deploy two Patriot missile-defense batteries on its southern border to free it to punish any future attacks by Russian-backed Syrian troops, according to a senior Turkish official in Ankara.

The disclosure was almost immediately followed on Thursday by a spasm of violence that left two Turkish troops dead and five wounded, and underscored the risks as two regional powerbrokers assert their influence in northwestern Syria.

The fighting increased the number of Turkish troops killed in the Idlib area over the last three weeks to at least 15 as pro-government forces, supported by Russian air power, seek to crush the last major pocket of opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.

The official, who’s familiar with Turkey’s policy in Syria, said Ankara could use F-16 warplanes to strike units loyal to Assad in Idlib if the Patriots were deployed in Hatay on Turkey’s border to provide protection.

‘Worst Scenario’

Turkey is yet to receive a U.S. response to the request, which was relayed last week to James Jeffrey, the U.S. envoy for Syria engagement, the official said, asking not to be identified discussing sensitive information. The U.S. Embassy in Turkey declined to comment. Spokespeople for the White House and U.S. National Security Council didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry said an airstrike was responsible for killing and wounding Thursday’s casualties, without pinning the blame on Russian or Syrian aircraft. Its counterpart in Moscow said in a statement that Russian Su-24 jets had carried out strikes to stop an offensive by Syrian rebels backed by Turkish artillery.

The escalating standoff in Idlib between Russia and Turkey is now developing “according to the worst scenario,” warned Elena Suponina, a Middle East expert based in Moscow.

By lending air support to the Syrian army “Russia has demonstrated it’s ready to respond harshly,” Suponina said by phone. “This signal should be understood correctly by Turkey. It would be good if it pushed the sides toward a compromise.”

Ankara, on the other hand, is also preparing for a possible showdown with Russia.

“Turkey can shut down the straits and its air space to Russia to block military shipments to the regime forces,” said Mesut Hakki Casin, a professor at Istanbul’s Yeditepe University and a member of the foreign affairs board that advises President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an interview with TRT television.

While Turkey is requesting the deployment of U.S.-operated Patriots, the two countries have wrangled for years over Turkish requests to buy the missiles. The Trump administration has refused to agree to a deal unless Turkey first scraps an advanced Russian missile-defense system it bought last year that Washington considers a threat to NATO’s capabilities.

Turkey doesn’t see the Patriot request — made to a NATO ally at a difficult time for the country — as requiring any concessions on its part, the official said.

Turkey is trying to halt the Syrian government advance because it’s threatening Ankara’s efforts to establish a zone of control in Idlib and could unleash and could unleash an exodus of as many as 2 million refugees toward the Turkish frontier.

It has sent thousands of troops to the area, and President Erdogan on Wednesday said his military had finished preparations for an offensive to protect its interests in Syria.

Trade Ties

Turkey is determined to push back Syrian forces before the end of this month even at the cost of straining ties with Russia in tourism and trade, said the official, adding that about 40,000 Turkey-backed Syrian rebels as well as 20,000 al-Qaeda linked extremists were holed up in Idlib.

Throughout the standoff, Ankara and Moscow have kept channels of communication open in an effort to keep alive their uneasy partnership in Syria, where they are backing opposing sides. But Moscow and Damascus haven’t been deterred by the Turkish troop buildup, and on Wednesday, the Kremlin retorted that a Turkish military operation would be “the worst option.”

The confrontation between the two is threatening a rupture in their relationship and prompting Turkey to reboot ties with the U.S. after years of tensions.

Turkey and Russia are also facing off through proxies in the Libyan conflict.

Turkey has sent thousands of Syrian rebels to shore up the United Nations-recognized administration of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. Lined up against them are hundreds of mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner security contractor, which is controlled by an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. They’ve been hired to support Khalifa Haftar’s now-stalled offensive on the capital, Tripoli, according to Western officials and people close to the organization. (Click to Source)

— With assistance by Ilya Arkhipov, Henry Meyer, and Mario Parker

 

 

Modern English Version Large Print

 

24/7, 365 access to a board certified medical doctor, by phone or video. One low monthly cost of $12.95 for an individual plan or $19.95 for a family plan. No extras! No added consult fees! All inclusive! Visits are anytime, day or night and holidays. Cancel anytime. No one should ever be without this plan and everyone can afford it. This special pricing is for my readers here.

Turkey Edges Toward Direct Conflict With Russian-Backed Syria

Updated: 

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday a military operation by his forces to push back a Syrian government offensive against rebels in northwest Syria was now “a matter of time” after talks with Russia failed to halt the assault.

Turkish troops have already massed inside the Idlib region and more were heading to the border area, bringing NATO member Turkey and Russian-backed Syria close to the brink of direct confrontation.

The Kremlin, which has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s push with air strikes, said a clash between Turkish and Syrian forces would be a “worst-case scenario” and Russia would work to prevent the situation from worsening.

Syrian troops supported by Russian warplanes and special forces have been battling since December to eradicate the last rebel bastions in Idlib and Aleppo provinces in what could be one of the final chapters of the nine-year-old civil war.

Nearly 1 million civilians have fled from air strikes and artillery barrages towards the closed frontier, overwhelming relief agencies and alarming Turkey, which already hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees and says it cannot handle more.

Speaking to lawmakers from his ruling AK Party on Wednesday, Erdogan said Turkey was determined to make Idlib a secure zone even while talks with Moscow continued. Several rounds of diplomacy had failed to reach an agreement so far, he said.

“We are entering the last days for the regime to stop its hostility in Idlib. We are making our final warnings,” said Erdogan, whose country has the second-largest army in NATO.

“Turkey has made every preparation to carry out its own operational plans. I say that we can come at any point. In other words, the Idlib offensive is only a matter of time.”

Erdogan on Saturday appeared to move forward his earlier end-of-February deadline for a Syrian withdrawal from Idlib.

Assad has showed no sign of doing so and has predicted the eventual defeat of his foes. They include Turkish-backed rebels and jihadist militants.

Turkish soldiers

An opposition military source told Reuters that 15,000 Turkish soldiers were now in northwest Syria after numerous convoys had poured into the territory in recent days.

“You can’t imagine the scale of Turkish reinforcements, half of Reyhanli is now full of Turkish commandoes ready to enter Syria,” he said, referring to a Turkish border town. “They are readying their forces for zero hour, operations are expected to start any time.”

Ankara and Moscow signed an agreement in 2018 to establish a de-escalation zone in Idlib allowing both sides to set up observation posts. Since the escalation in the conflict, both sides have accused each other of flouting the agreement.

In Moscow on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Syrian forces were upholding previous agreements but also reacting to provocations.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “If we talk about an operation against legitimate Syrian authorities and armed forces, it is of course a worst-case scenario.”

In the past week the Syrian army has seized dozens of towns around Aleppo and the M5 highway linking Damascus to Aleppo.

It was unclear when Ankara and Moscow might resume talks.

Syrian military defector general Ahmad Rahhal said the talks in Moscow on Monday “were humiliating to Turkey” and had angered Ankara.

“The Russians have made a mistake,” he told Reuters. “We are heading towards a Turkish military operation in Syria but no one knows exactly when… It may start in waves and gradually build up on several fronts.” (Click to Source)

 

Bibles

 

100% FREE ONLINE RECOVERY PROGRAM to anyone who wants to fully recover. We are a Biblical Online Recovery Outreach Program that is life changing and empowering. Adult & Teen Challenge Certified Teachers and certified Life Coaches will be working with you, and your loved ones, by video conference and phone with 24/7 support by text, chat and email. Contact us today and receive our gift of recovery.

TURKISH ARMY COMMENCES ARTILLERY ATTACKS AGAINST SYRIAN ARAB ARMY AND RUSSIAN BASE IN SYRIA

WORLD NEWS DESK

LATEST UPDATE 4:10 PM EST —  Yesterday, Turkish President Recypt Erdogan said Turkey will not allow Idlib, Syria to come back under control of the Syrian Government, and his Turkish Army would commence attacks to make certain of this.   This morning, RUSSIA warned Turkey that such an effort would result in the Russians DEFENDING Syria.

Eight minutes ago, at 2:52 PM eastern US time, Turkish artillery began shelling Syrian forces in and around Idlib, including Syrian forces which have RUSSIAN TROOPS embedded.

The Turks entered Syria UNINVEITED and WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION almost a year ago.  This new adventure by Turkey will get their forces stomped into the ground by Russian forces, and will likely mean actual HOT WAR between Turkey and Russia.

It has begun.   Multiple sources confirming heavy exchanges of artillery and gunfire.

 

UPDATE 3:21 PM EST —

BREAKING: The Syrian Army just RESPONDED to the Turkish attack and bombed the Turkish observation post, located in Ishtabraq, western countryside of Idlib.

 

 

***** BULLETIN *****

3:24 PM EST 

The Turkish Army is shelling the Syrian city of Latakia, Syria, AND the Russian Naval Base in that port city ! ! ! ! ! !

 

UPDATE 3:28 PM EST —

SYRIAN AIR DEFENSE ACTIVE IN LATAKIA REGION AMID TURKISH ARTILLERY SHELLING — LOCAL SOURCES

 

***** BULLETIN *****

3:41 PM EST

3 Russian generals, including the grandson of Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, have been killed by the Turkish attacks against the Russian base at LatakiaSyria

 

MORE . . .

Turkish army is attacking positions of the Syrian Army (SAA) in Saraqib and Nairab in Northern Idlib with MLRS and heavy artillery.

 

UPDATE 4:02 PM EST —

Turkey informs NATO of Idlib operation, asks for enforcement of no fly zone.

 

UPDATE 4:10 PM EST —

Turkish warplanes heading to #Idlib

 

The fighting continues.   Further info via new stories when available. . . (Click to Source)

 

New King James Bible

 

24/7, 365 access to a board certified medical doctor, by phone or video. One low monthly cost of $12.95 for an individual plan or $19.95 for a family plan. No extras! No added consult fees! All inclusive! Visits are anytime, day or night and holidays. Cancel anytime. No one should ever be without this plan and everyone can afford it. This special pricing is for my readers here.

 

DEVELOPING: Israel Strikes Near Damascus Again! Second Strike In Days

SYRIAN MEDIA SAYS ISRAEL STRUCK NEAR DAMASCUS FOR SECOND TIME IN DAYS

Foreign media outlets reported an attack in Damascus Monday night by Israeli fighter jets

eth-breaking-news-1024x576-11-777x437-1-2

BEIRUT, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Syrian state media on Monday said Israel had fired missiles at a Syrian military facility in the Damascus countryside, adding that Syrian air defense systems had intercepted three of the missiles.

“Our air defenses are confronting an Israeli missile attack on one of our sites in the Damascus suburbs and three of the targets were downed,” state news agency SANA said, adding the attacks happened at 11:30 p.m. Monday.

A witness told Reuters late on Monday three strong explosions were heard from the direction of Jamraya, west of Damascus. Another witness said thick smoke could be seen rising over the area.

Jamraya contains a military research facility which was hit by what was believed to have been an Israeli attack in 2013.

Israel in the past has targeted positions of Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah group inside Syria where the Iran-backed group is heavily involved in fighting alongside the Syrian army.

On Saturday Syrian state media said Israeli missiles struck a military position south of Damascus, and in September Israel attacked a Syrian military site believed to be linked to chemical weapons production.

Satellite images of the base released Monday show rubble left over from a previous airstrike.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said they do not comment on foreign reports.

War monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, from its sources, said planes believed to be Israeli had fired missiles into the Jamraya area.  (Click to Source)

Drumbeats Of Ezekiel 38 – Israel Bombs Iranian Base In Syria

magogaug222017

Israel’s air force has bombed a military target thought to be an Iranian military base outside Damascus, Syria December 2. The hit was reported by Arab media outlets. An arms depot was destroyed in the strike, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Iran is a staunch ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and provided him with military and financial assistance during the long Syrian civil war.
Arabic media reported the target was an Iranian military base 9 miles south of Damascus and just 30 miles from the Israeli border that was revealed by the BBC three weeks ago. It is the first time reports have emerged of Iran establishing a permanent base in Syria.

 

“At half past midnight [2230 GMT Friday], the Israeli enemy fired several surface-to-surface missiles at a military position in Damascus province,” Syria’s state SANA news agency reported, according to The Times of Israel.
An account on the Telegram messaging app linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps reported that 12 Iranians were killed in the strike, according to Lebanon’s Al-Mustaqbal TV and the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya network.
Israel repeatedly warned it will not allow Iran to develop a military presence in Syria. Iranian leaders have long threatened to “wipe Israel off the map.” In June 2017, demonstrators set up a countdown clock to Israel’s destruction in the center of the capital Tehran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stern warning in a video announcement on November 30, before the strike.
“Let me reiterate Israel’s policy: We will not allow a regime hell-bent on the annihilation of the Jewish state to acquire nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “We will not allow that regime to entrench itself militarily in Syria, as it seeks to do, for the express purpose of eradicating our state.”
Netanyahu is said to have conveyed a warning to Assad via a third party just days ago that Syria will be targeted if it allows Iran to develop a permanent military presence in Syria.
With all the events taking place in Syria right now, many people are asking, “What does the Bible have to say about Syria and the end times?
Chapter 17 in the Book of Isaiah paints a sobering picture. In it, the city of Damascus is a pile of rubble. The Bible says it will disappear from the face of the earth and become a heap of ruins (Isaiah 17:1).
At the same time, large parts of northern Israel will also lie in ruin (Isaiah 17:3). Now, before you say this prophecy was fulfilled during Old Testament times, keep this in mind… This passage says Damascus will cease to be a city (Isaiah 17:1).

 

It will be utterly and completely destroyed. Yet, Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on record. Its history goes back more than 5,000 years. At 2,600 years old, the Book of Isaiah itself is new compared to Damascus! This prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.
Current events in Syria are also setting the stage for the Gog of Magog War. More than 2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel warned of a future time when a vast coalition of nations will attack Israel.
Ezekiel identifies these nations as “Magog, Rosh, Meschech, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah” (Ezekiel 38:1-6). These nations have since come to be known as the Gog of Magog alliance.
Now, with the exception of Persia and Cush, I realize most people have never heard of these nations.
But keep in mind Ezekiel used the names of these nations as they were known in his day. Each one is a clearly identifiable nation today. So who are these nations in our day and time?
Below is a list. The Old Testament name is listed first, followed by its modern day equivalent:
Rosh = Russia
Magog = Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan
Persia = Iran
Cush = Sudan
Put = Libya
Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah = Turkey
Collectively, these nations have never attacked Israel. In fact, in the history of the world, such an alliance of nations has never existed.
But today we see it coming together right in front of us. Since 1989, Russia and Iran have gradually strengthened their diplomatic, military, and economic ties.

 

Yet, in the first 2,600 years after Ezekiel recorded his prophecies, the nations of Russia and Persia (Iran) had never been part of any alliance of any sort. Never. Cooperation between Russia and Iran, especially military cooperation, didn’t take place.
This led many people to claim Ezekiel’s prophecy was symbolic. Why? Because the idea of the Gog of Magog war seemed absurd. After all, at the dawn of the 20th Century, Russia was an orthodox Christian nation and Israel didn’t exist!
But those who believed in a literal interpretation of the Bible knew otherwise.  They knew all prophecy would come to pass. Because bible prophecy doesn’t come from mere humans. It’s God’s Word (2 Peter 1:19-21).
In the years since, the stage has been set for the literal fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. A 1917 communist revolution transformed Russia from a Christian nation to an atheist nation.
In 1948, Israel once again became a nation. And earlier this year, Russia and Iran issued a joint statement vowing to respond with force to any aggressor.
And Turkey? For decades, people have wondered how Turkey could be a part of this alliance. After all, Turkey is a member of NATO.
And in late 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian jet when it strayed into Turkish airspace. Russia and Turkey seem to be at odds.
So how could Turkey be a part of this alliance? At first glance, it seems unlikely. But in the summer of 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan jailed thousands of political opponents. And now has Turkey voted to eliminate its parliamentary form of government and give expanded powers to Erdogan.
Ultimately, this could be what pushes Turkey into the Russian sphere of influence. Erdogan is an anti-Western, pro-Islamist leader, and he’s worked hard to strengthen Turkey’s ties with Russia.
In light of these developments, we can see the Gog of Magog alliance coming together for the first time in history.
For the first time since Israel re-emerged on the world scene in May 1948, the main players of the Ezekiel 38-39 alliance are all working together. Even more important, they all have military personnel on Israel’s northern border. The stage is set for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. (Click to Source)

 

Report: Israel attacked military base in Syria

Arab news outlets report Israel attacked military base in Syria, 2 missiles were intercepted.

776820

The IDF attacked a military base 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) south of Damascus and 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Israel’s border, Lebanese and Syrian media reported.

The attack was carried out from Lebanon, and used air-to-surface missiles. According to reports, the Syrian army successfully intercepted at least two of the missiles. A Sky News report said the military base was scheduled to receive Iranian forces.

Reports also said anti-aircraft warfare was used against the Israeli planes; however, there is no report of injury to the planes or their pilots.

Syrian television reported on Saturday morning that “the Israeli enemy at 12:30a.m. fired several surface-to-surface missiles towards one of the military bases on the outskirts of Damascus.”

Last month, BBC quoted an intelligence official as saying that Iran is building a permanent military base in Al-Kiswah, 13 kilometers (7 miles) south of Damascus – the same area which Israel attacked on Friday night. Satellite pictures published confirmed activity at the site.

MK Eyal Ben Reuven (Zionist Union) said, “If there was such a strike, it sends a very clear message to the Iranians, Syrians, Russians, and Americans: Israel will act, and will not allow Iran to build a base in Syria following the Syrian civil war.”

Regarding Syria’s response to the strike, Ben Reuven said that “it is obvious the IDF needs to be ready for any developments.” However, he added that “the chance Syria will respond is low, since Syria is busy rebuilding after its civil war, and a war with Israel will certainly not help them.” (Click to Source)

Israel strikes Syrian ‘military targets’ near Damascus – reports

59fb4ec7fc7e9353118b4567

The Israeli Defense Forces launched several missiles at a strategic target close to the Syrian capital Damascus, Israeli and Arab media reported, saying it was an airstrike. Syrian state TV said “military positions” were targeted by surface-to-surface missiles.

Several missiles were reportedly fired toward a target in the countryside south of Damascus, with some intercepted by the Syrian Air Defense and others hitting their intended target.

Arab outlet Al-Masdar News, citing its sources, reported that the target was an ammunition depot of the Syrian Army, located between the towns of Kiswah (Kesweh) and Sahnaya. “Loud explosions” were heard as the missiles hit their target, the news service said.

Other sources, however, claim the target was an alleged Iranian military base in the Kiswah area, some 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the city of Damascus. Reports on the alleged airstrikes in some Israeli outlets were then taken down for several hours.

The warplanes reportedly launched the missiles from Lebanese airspace.

The engagement of Israeli missiles by Syrian anti-aircraft troops was confirmed by some Syrian media, although their reports claimed that they had been fired not by Israeli aircraft but rather from ground positions. According to the state-owned Al-Ikhbariya TV channel, two missiles were shot down.

Videos have emerged on social media purporting to show the moment one of the Israeli missiles was intercepted by Syrian Air Defense.

Israel has previously carried out airstrikes targeting Syrian territory, either claiming to be targeting positions of the militant group Hezbollah or retaliating in response to stray projectiles that occasionally cross the border into the Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights.

However, in early November an Israeli attack hit a copper factory in the Syrian province of Homs, prompting Damascus to urge condemnation of Israel’s actions at the UN.

Israeli officials have long accused Iran of trying to establish a military foothold in Syria, where Tehran has been supporting Damascus’s fight against ISIS and other terrorists. According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, the goal is “using Syria as a base from which to destroy Israel.” (Click to Source)

SYRIA WARNS OF ‘SERIOUS REPERCUSSIONS’ FOLLOWING ISRAELI AIRSTRIKE

Israeli jets destroyed Assad regime SA-5 anti-aircraft battery after it fired on Israeli reconnaissance planes.

The Syrian Army has warned of “dangerous consequences” following an air strike by Israel on a regime SA-5 antiaircraft battery east of Damascus, after it fired a surface-to-air missile at Israeli jets.

According to SANA, the Syrian air defense “directly hit one of the jets, forcing the enemy to retreat,” contradicting Israeli military claims that all planes had returned safely from the operation.

The SA-5 missile battery, which was stationed some 50 kilometers east of the Syrian capital, fired at the Israeli jets which were on a routine aerial reconnaissance flight in Lebanese airspace, IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis stated.

Israel believes that the Syrians fired at the Israeli jets at 10 a.m. Monday after thinking that they intended to attack.

All Israeli aircraft returned safely to base and a few hours later responded by launching four missiles toward the same battery, destroying it.

“We see the Syrian regime as responsible and see these missiles as a clear Syrian provocation, and it will not be accepted,” Manelis stated, adding that while Israel has no intention to enter into the civil war in Syria, Israel will react to all provocations and is prepared for the possibility of retaliation.

“If antiaircraft fire is being carried out for any military activity, we will respond as we did now,” he said on a call with journalists, adding that Russia was updated about the incident in real time and that it would be brought up during the visit of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who landed in Israel hours after the attack.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman met privately with Shoigu at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Monday evening before being joined by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen.

Herzl Halevi and the director of the Defense Ministry’s Political- Military Affairs Bureau, Zohar Palti.

“We will not interfere in Syria’s internal affairs, but on the other hand we will not allow Iran and Hezbollah to turn Syria into a forward outpost against Israel, and we will not allow the transfer of sophisticated weapons from Iran through Syria to Lebanon,” Liberman said in a statement.

Shoigu, who is in Israel to discuss the Jewish state’s ongoing concerns regarding Iran’s entrenchment in Syria and the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah by Tehran through Damascus, will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.

Moscow intervened in the Syrian conflict in September 2015, and officials from Israel and Russia meet regularly to discuss the deconfliction mechanism implemented over Syria to prevent accidental clashes between the two militaries.

Israel rarely comments on foreign reports of military activity in Syria but has publicly admitted to having struck over 100 Hezbollah targets in Syria, with Netanyahu saying that strikes will continue when “we have information and operational feasibility.”

Netanyahu commented on the attack in Syria on Monday afternoon, hours after it was announced by the IDF.

“Our policy is clear,” he said in a statement. “Anyone who tries to harm us will be hit. Today they tried to hit our planes, which is unacceptable to us.” Netanyahu said the IAF acted with “precision and speed” and “destroyed what needed to be destroyed. We will continue to act as is needed to protect Israel’s security.”

During an IAF operation in March to strike a Hezbollah arms convoy in Syria, regime air defense fired three surface-to-air missiles toward IAF jets. It was the most serious incident between the two countries since the war in Syria began six years ago.

Following the incident, Liberman warned against any further launching of missiles by the Syrian regime, threatening to destroy all Syrian air defenses.

According to the IDF, the SA-5 missile battery destroyed by Israeli jets on Monday was the same that fired at Israeli jets in March, prompting Israel make use of its Arrow antimissile system for the first time. The Syrians claimed at the time that one Israeli jet had been shot down and another damaged, a claim strongly denied by the IDF.

The Arrow system, which has been operational since 2000, was designed to intercept heavy, longrange ground-to-ground ballistic missiles, and updates to the system have expanded its capabilities to also intercept medium-range missiles and rockets.

 In January, the IAF officially took delivery of the first Arrow-3 interceptor, the most advanced Arrow system, which is designed to provide ultimate air defense by intercepting ballistic missiles when they are still outside the Earth’s atmosphere. (Click to Site)

 

Russia Blames US For Death Of Top General In Syria

Shortly after Russia disclosed on Sunday that a top Russian military commander, Lieutenant General Valery Asapov – who was serving as one of Russia’s “military advisers” in Syria – was fatally wounded by an exploding shell in a mortar attack by ISIS terrorists, on Monday the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the “two-faced policy” of the United States was to blame for the death of the Russian General in Syria.

asapov_0

“The death of the Russian commander is the price, the bloody price, for two-faced American policy in Syria,” Ryabkov told reporters, according to RIA.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

RT 

@RT_com

Killed in ISIS shelling near #DeirEzzor, Asapov is to be presented with a state decoration posthumously https://on.rt.com/8o1m 

Twitter Ads info and privacy

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that Asapov had been killed by Islamic State shelling near Deir al-Zor; his death was revealed around the time Moscow disclosed what it said was photographic evidence showing US special operations located at Islamic State positions in Syria. 

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

 Follow

Минобороны России

@mod_russia

The aerial photos of ISIS’ territory north of #Deir_ez_Zor where #USA special operation troops are seen http://s.mil.ru/2jUyo2p 

Twitter Ads info and privacy

Russia has complained about what it has suggested are “suspiciously friendly ties” between U.S.-backed militias, U.S. special forces, and Islamic State in the area, accusing Washington of trying to slow the advance of the Syrian army.

As a reminder, on Sunday the Russian Ministry of Defense published aerial images which they say show US Army special forces equipment located north of the Syrian town of Deir ez-Zor, where IS militants are deployed. The US troops do not face any “resistance from the ISIS militants,” while their positions have no screening patrol, which could indicate that they “feel absolutely safe” in the area, the ministry said. The US Central Command however denied the accusations in a written statement to RT.

“The allegations are false. For operational security, we do not comment on ongoing operations or the current positions of Coalition personnel and our partner forces,” the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve said.

Ryabkov also questioned Washington’s intention to fight Islamic State in Syria.

“The American side declares that it is interested in the elimination of IS … but some of its actions show it is doing the opposite and that some political and geopolitical goals are more important for Washington,” Ryabkov said according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, in keeping with the growing escalation between Russia and the US over Deir Ezzor, earlier on Monday, American-backed Syrian militias again accused Russian warplanes of striking their positions in the oil-rich province, near a natural gas field they seized from Islamic State last week. Russia denied that.

Despite the growing escalations, the Russian and US militaries maintain “intensive” contacts at different levels, Ryabkov said. (Click to Site)