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    Syrian War: News #16

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    d_taddei2

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  d_taddei2 on Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:46 pm

    Interesting article especially the parts I have put in bold


    On whose side is Belarus in the Syrian civil war

    On 7 September, the Israeli air force attacked the Syrian military’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre. According to the Times of Israel, Belarusians may have been among those working at the Centre.

    Meanwhile, a Bulgarian hacker group recently published documents showing that Silk Way, an Azerbaijani airline that transports arms for Syrian opposition groups, directed some of its flights via Minsk. Concurrently, Russian and Polish media circulated reports of alleged arms deals between Minsk and sponsors of Syrian opposition groups for several millions euros.

    Belarus thus is accused of supplying all sides in the Syrian civil war. But available evidence proves that Minsk is an indirect participant.Its involvement in the Syrian conflict as supplier of weapons is limited to working with intermediaries acting on behalf of Western countries and their allies.

    Belarus has no missile technology for Damascus

    On 15 September, the Times of Israel published an article about alleged defence cooperation between the Belarusian and Syrian governments. It quoted Ronen Solomon, an Israeli freelance intelligence analyst, saying there were Belarusians working at the Syrian military’s Scientific Studies and Research Center helping Damascus to improve its ballistic missiles.

    However, the Syrian opposition website Zaman al-Wasl reported it was Russians, Iranians and North Koreans, who had worked at the bombed facility. Solomon told Times of Israel “that given the nature of the site and Russia’s interests in the region, it’s unlikely that Moscow would send experts to such a facility,” hence they should have been Belarusians.

    He also insisted that “Belarus … is particularly skilled in improving existing missiles with better guidance systems … Belarusian companies … tout also their preparedness to sell technologies coveted by Hezbollah, like anti-aircraft systems, drones and shore-to-ship missiles.“

    Belarus, however, has little to offer to Damascus in terms of missile technologies. and that little technology it itself acquired in the most recent years. Minsk inherited a great deal of military technologies from the Soviet Union, but has next to nothing to build missiles. In the early 2010s, it even had to ask the Chinese, and maybe also recruited some Ukrainians, to help assemble multiple–launch rocket systems. These types of systems are the most basic for a country intending to master missile technologies. Although this year Belarusian defence companies demonstrated something similar to short-range cruise or ballistic missile at a defence industry exhibition in Minsk, these are not the types of technologies that interest either Syria or its Iranian allies.

    Moreover, even if Belarus had something to offer the Syrian government, that would be a doubtful deal for Belarus. Minsk knows these sorts of deals would hardly bring money from an embattled leader such as Assad. It would also undermine Belarusian relations with Assad’s opponents, particularly rich, Arab, conservative regimes.

    A litany accusations

    In 2012, The Atlantic, a respectable US media outlet, reported that Minsk might be trying to help Syria build fibre-optic gyroscopes for surface-to-surface missiles. No proof has ever been publicly presented.

    Nonetheless, since 2012, the US Treasury has maintained sanctions on the Belarusian defence firm Belvneshpromservice (BVPS). The sanctions have been imposed for violating the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act, which forbids supplying these states with any materials and equipment related to weapons of mass destruction or cruise or ballistic missiles.

    It is not clear what triggered the imposition of US sanctions. Back in 2012, the media reported that the sanctions had been imposed for Minsk providing Syria with “fuses for general purpose aerial bombs.” But, in fact, it could have been for a deal with any of the three black-listed countries. Indeed, during that period Minsk is documented to have supplied radars to Iran.

    Arms for Syrian opposition: How much did Minsk know?

    Meanwhile, on 30 August, the Russian web–site EADaily published a lengthy piece on alleged Belarusian-supplied arms to the radical Syrian opposition. According to Russian journalists, “Deliveries were implemented through a chain of intermediaries, but Minsk cannot claim ignorance about the final recipients.”

    The EADaily article was not the first report about Belarusian arms reaching Syrian opposition via the Balkans. As early as September 2015, American media outlet Buzzfeed revealed that a US contractor via a Bulgarian intermediary had bought 700 missiles for “Konkurs” anti-tank systems from Belarus. Moreover, the Buzzfeed article alleged that American instructors sent to teach Syrian opposition fighters how to use the systems had passed through Belarus en route to Syria.

    This may just be the tip of the iceberg. In an official report, the Bulgarian Economics Ministry catalogued €37.8m in arms imports from Belarus to Bulgaria for 2015. In 2016, Belarusian arms imports rose to €84.2m.

    Most of these deliveries were sent via Romania. This ensured the arms were subject to customs declaration. Therefore, according to official Romanian Foreign Ministry reports, Belarusian military exports to Bulgaria via Romania in 2015 not only included smoothbore arms with a calibre of more than 20mm, but also various arms with a calibre more than 12.7mm, and ammunition, missiles, artillery shells, and bombs. In 2016, the Romanian Foreign Ministry tracked imports of missile systems, artillery shells with a calibre of more than 122mm, RPG grenades, missiles, an armoured vehicle, and aircraft-cannon shells.

    These shipments stand out, because before 2015 Belarus scarcely exported arms to Bulgaria. For instance, according to the Bulgarian Economics Ministry, in 2013 Bulgaria imported missiles, artillery shells and military electronic equipment from Belarus worth €411,000.


    Arms from Belarus ensures alibis for sponsors of Syrian opposition

    Of course, these accusatory reports are shtum about the final destination of the Belarusian arms. Bulgaria has no need for these weapons. Russian EADaily, furthermore, noticed that the exports from Belarus to Bulgaria coincide with the value of official Bulgarian exports of similar arms in similar quantities to the US and Saudi Arabia. It is most likely that the Belarusian arms went to the Syrian opposition.

    Oddly enough, Bulgaria itself manufactures almost all the types of equipment and ammunition that it bought from Minsk. Such deals, however, make perfect sense, because Minsk still has these items left over from Soviet times. Such arms, if sent to Syria, would not attract much attention in a country that for many decades had bought Soviet arms.

    Nonetheless, the situation is even more complicated. The arms might have gone from Bulgaria to various destinations outside Syria, as well. Hackers from the group Anonymous Bulgaria have recently published stolen documents from Azerbaijani airline company Silk Way. The documents appear to show the company has been transporting arms for the Syrian opposition. The documents also indicate Silk Way had flights originating from Minsk, but not heading for the Middle East. On 14 February, the company reportedly transported ammunition from Minsk via Bulgaria to Afghanistan.

    In sum, Western and Russian media regularly speculate on Belarus’s alleged ties to various parties in the Syrian civil war. The secretive and relatively unknown Belarusian regime naturally attracts such accusations. In particular, this sort of speculation provides explanations for otherwise murky cases, like that of the Syrian missile centre.

    In addition, accusations for alleged Belarusian assistance to either the Syrian government or to the opposition can be used as a political tool against Minsk.

    If the allegations are proven, unscrupulous deals in such a conflict amount to a gross violation of international security regulations.The responses by more influential states or a global power like the US or Russia to such a violation would likely be much harsher than their reactions to human rights violations committed by Minsk.

    https://belarusdigest.com/story/on-whose-side-is-belarus-in-the-syrian-civil-war/
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    JohninMK

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  JohninMK on Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:46 am

    This is careless if true

    Hassan Hassan‏Verified account @hxhassan 42m42 minutes ago
    Replying to @hxhassan

    Gen. Issam Zahreddin’s successor, Gen. Wael Zayzafoun, is killed in Deir Ezzor — two days after his predecessor died in an ISIS landmine in Hawijat Saqr.
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    SeigSoloyvov

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  SeigSoloyvov on Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:06 am

    JohninMK wrote:This is careless if true

    Hassan Hassan‏Verified account @hxhassan 42m42 minutes ago
    Replying to @hxhassan

    Gen. Issam Zahreddin’s successor, Gen. Wael Zayzafoun, is killed in Deir Ezzor — two days after his predecessor died in an ISIS landmine in Hawijat Saqr.

    Haven't heard anything about this myself if this is true then the SAA does indeed have a major traitor problem going on
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    d_taddei2

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  d_taddei2 on Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:28 pm

    Syrian Kurds “don’t want partition of Syria, do not seek independence”: PYD Chairman

    https://mobile.almasdarnews.com/article/syrian-kurds-dont-want-partition-syria-not-seek-independence-pyd-chairman/
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    franco

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  franco on Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:39 pm

    SeigSoloyvov wrote:
    JohninMK wrote:This is careless if true

    Hassan Hassan‏Verified account @hxhassan 42m42 minutes ago
    Replying to @hxhassan

    Gen. Issam Zahreddin’s successor, Gen. Wael Zayzafoun, is killed in Deir Ezzor — two days after his predecessor died in an ISIS landmine in Hawijat Saqr.

    Haven't heard anything about this myself if this is true then the SAA does indeed have a major traitor problem going on

    Read yesterday that it was a Colonel KIA in that zone, but he was not Zahreddin's successor as reported by some sources.
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    d_taddei2

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  d_taddei2 on Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:03 pm

    Syrian Army liberates ancient city of Quraytayn

    https://mobile.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-syrian-army-liberates-ancient-city-quraytayn/
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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  JohninMK on Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:53 am

    This would put the cat amongst the pigeons if for real

    Ivan Sidorenko‏ @IvanSidorenko1 1h1 hour ago

    #Syria Pro #SAA Raqqa News Network Says "#SAA is preparing for a major battle to expel SDF secessionist militias from the city of Tabqa"

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    PapaDragon

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  PapaDragon on Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:21 am

    JohninMK wrote:This would put the cat amongst the pigeons if for real

    Ivan Sidorenko‏ @IvanSidorenko1 1h1 hour ago

    #Syria Pro #SAA Raqqa News Network Says "#SAA is preparing for a major battle to expel SDF secessionist militias from the city of Tabqa"


    After Kurdish Iraq bluff fiasco everyone is revving up engines. This has potential for some massive popcorn output.Cool
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    Cyberspec

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  Cyberspec on Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:07 pm

    SDF claim to have entered Omar oil fields...

    Breaking: US-backed forces allege they captured largest oil field in Deir Ezzor
    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-us-backed-forces-allege-captured-largest-oil-field-deir-ezzor/


    however, the video used as proof is apparently an old one (see pic)...also their official announcement on their website has been deleted



    Arrow https://twitter.com/warsmonitoring/status/922031082723336192
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    franco

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  franco on Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:25 pm

    Reports I'm seeing claim the ISIS tribal forces guarding the oil fields have switched sides to the SDF. However the SAA forces are closer to the oil fields then the SDF. Meanwhile ISIS is apparently blowing things up and setting fire to it. Definitely a popcorn event.
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    d_taddei2

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  d_taddei2 on Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:28 pm

    Other interesting news

    Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is very upset with Baghdad’s decision to drive back pro-Barzani forces from important cities and energy sites in Iraq.
    One week ago, Iraqi pro-government forces launched a powerful offensive along the entire Kurdish frontier in northwestern Iraq, liberating a number of cities and towns and re-claiming from pro-Barzani militants the strategic Kirkuk oilfields and the Mosul Dam.

    Perhaps more upset with this outcome than Barzani loyalists is Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government on a whole whose sense of oil security has been somewhat breached.

    Under the control of pro-Barzani forces, the Kirkuk oil fields provided Israel with 77 percent (2015 estimate according to the Financial Times) of its imported oil needs at rock-bottom prices.

    The Israeli head of state is currently lobbying world powers to take action against Haider Al-Abadi’s government and turn back the gains of Iraqi forces.

    Whilst it is highly unlikely that Baghdad will cease sending oil to Israel, the price for its purchase will undoubtedly go up to levels that Israel is traditionally uncomfortable with.

    https://mobile.almasdarnews.com/article/__trashed-3/

    The Syrian Special Mission Unit of the Interior Ministry captured a high ranking rebel commander in the eastern suburbs of Damascus this week, following an imperative operation conducted in honor of the late Major General Issam Zahreddine.

    Backed by the Arab Nationalist Guard, the Syrian Special Mission Unit carried out the operation in an undisclosed location in east Damascus.

    The operation would prove successful, as the Special Mission Unit and Arab Nationalist Guard were able to capture Faylaq Al-Rahman’s commander, Abu Fadi Al-Alf and two of his bodyguards after sneaking behind enemy lines.

    https://mobile.almasdarnews.com/article/pictures-syrian-govt-forces-capture-top-rebel-leader-east-damascus/

    US-backed forces allege they captured largest oil field in Deir Ezzor

    https://mobile.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-us-backed-forces-allege-captured-largest-oil-field-deir-ezzor/
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    JohninMK

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  JohninMK on Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:19 pm

    No idea if correct


    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DMvGc_LW0AAWVYP.jpg
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    JohninMK

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  JohninMK on Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:32 pm

    More on it, no real confirmation yet. Must be a Government red line crossed.

    Claimed that the Arab tribes protecting fields have changed loyalty from ISIS to SDF hence quick 'capture'. Also claims there are actually few SAA that side of the river. Time will tell.


    Syrian Civil War Map‏ @CivilWarMap 27m27 minutes ago

    SDF captured Khurayzah, Zuwaymiyah, Lawziyah, Maashiq, Qusayriyah, Saban oil field and Northern Omar oil field


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    calm

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  calm on Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:43 pm

    SAA captured Al Qarayya south of Mayadin

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    franco

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  franco on Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:48 pm

    Updated map of Deir Ez Zor and Euphrates river battle zone;

    http://cpie.lima-city.de/deir_1023b.jpg

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  par far on Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:35 am

    "SYRIA WAR REPORT – OCTOBER 23, 2017: ISIS MAY SURRENDER EASTERN BANK OF EUPHRATES TO US-BACKED FORCES."

    https://southfront.org/syria-war-report-october-23-2017-isis-may-surrender-eastern-bank-of-euphrates-to-us-backed-forces/

    How can Russia, Iran, SAA and Allies let the Kurds get the dam oil fields, hopefully the same thing happens to the Kurds in Syria, that happened in Iraq.
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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  SeigSoloyvov on Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:40 am

    par far wrote:"SYRIA WAR REPORT – OCTOBER 23, 2017: ISIS MAY SURRENDER EASTERN BANK OF EUPHRATES TO US-BACKED FORCES."

    https://southfront.org/syria-war-report-october-23-2017-isis-may-surrender-eastern-bank-of-euphrates-to-us-backed-forces/

    How can Russia, Iran, SAA and Allies let the Kurds get the dam oil fields, hopefully the same thing happens to the Kurds in Syria, that happened in Iraq.

    Oh once ISIs is gone Assad will try and take those oil fields back he has to there is literally no choice for him there.
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    JohninMK

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  JohninMK on Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:21 pm

    SeigSoloyvov wrote:
    par far wrote:"SYRIA WAR REPORT – OCTOBER 23, 2017: ISIS MAY SURRENDER EASTERN BANK OF EUPHRATES TO US-BACKED FORCES."

    https://southfront.org/syria-war-report-october-23-2017-isis-may-surrender-eastern-bank-of-euphrates-to-us-backed-forces/

    How can Russia, Iran, SAA and Allies let the Kurds get the dam oil fields, hopefully the same thing happens to the Kurds in Syria, that happened in Iraq.

    Oh once ISIs is gone Assad will try and take those oil fields back he has to there is literally no choice for him there.
    There must be some kind of plan as the SAA is making very little effort on the east bank of the river or towards those oil fields. If the maps are correct they seem to be concentrating on liberating the west bank, moving as fast as they can southwards.

    A very big question must be what will happen to ISIS operatives if they do surrender en mass to the SDF? There can't be many places left to move them to and if they get absorbed into the SDF there must be a big chance that Syria will attack the SDF as a terrorist army which could lead to the US having to defend ISIS openly.

    Wonder how Seig feels about that.

    Anyone know what is happening to the 500 or so strong US Marine 155mm artillery unit that was being used in the siege bombardment of Raqqa? Not really needed now in Syria as the fighting is a bit fast moving now with few if any static targets. Also they must have been about due for rotation.
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    SeigSoloyvov

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  SeigSoloyvov on Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:55 pm

    JohninMK wrote:
    SeigSoloyvov wrote:
    par far wrote:"SYRIA WAR REPORT – OCTOBER 23, 2017: ISIS MAY SURRENDER EASTERN BANK OF EUPHRATES TO US-BACKED FORCES."

    https://southfront.org/syria-war-report-october-23-2017-isis-may-surrender-eastern-bank-of-euphrates-to-us-backed-forces/

    How can Russia, Iran, SAA and Allies let the Kurds get the dam oil fields, hopefully the same thing happens to the Kurds in Syria, that happened in Iraq.

    Oh once ISIs is gone Assad will try and take those oil fields back he has to there is literally no choice for him there.
    There must be some kind of plan as the SAA is making very little effort on the east bank of the river or towards those oil fields. If the maps are correct they seem to be concentrating on liberating the west bank, moving as fast as they can southwards.

    A very big question must be what will happen to ISIS operatives if they do surrender en mass to the SDF? There can't be many places left to move them to and if they get absorbed into the SDF there must be a big chance that Syria will attack the SDF as a terrorist army which could lead to the US having to defend ISIS openly.

    Wonder how Seig feels about that.

    Anyone know what is happening to the 500 or so strong US Marine 155mm artillery unit that was being used in the siege bombardment of Raqqa? Not really needed now in Syria as the fighting is a bit fast moving now with few if any static targets. Also they must have been about due for rotation.

    Most ISIS members will be killed by the SAA the ones left won't make much of a numbers difference.

    The reason the SAA is advancing down the river so fast is because they are trying to reach the border post first.

    The oilfields are lost to them for now, they cannot get them. So once they clean ISIS up on their side of the river, then that fight over the oilfields will start not until then.

    SAA cannot afford to deal with the kurds and ISIS at the same time with all the other groups they are dealing with.

    That is how this will play out, the kurds will fight Assad they will not hand over any land without a fight they want their own state and they consider anything they take over part of their state.

    However, without those oilfields, Assad's syria is done for so there is a lot on the line for both the kurds and the SAA here.
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    JohninMK

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  JohninMK on Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:38 pm

    SeigSoloyvov wrote:
    Most ISIS members will be killed by the SAA the ones left won't make much of a numbers difference.

    The reason the SAA is advancing down the river so fast is because they are trying to reach the border post first.

    The oilfields are lost to them for now, they cannot get them. So once they clean ISIS up on their side of the river, then that fight over the oilfields will start not until then.

    SAA cannot afford to deal with the kurds and ISIS at the same time with all the other groups they are dealing with.

    That is how this will play out, the kurds will fight Assad they will not hand over any land without a fight they want their own state and they consider anything they take over part of their state.

    However, without those oilfields, Assad's syria is done for so there is a lot on the line for both the kurds and the SAA here.
    Agree with most you write but, especially following what happened in Iraq last week, any dreams that the Syrian Kurds will have their own state are likely to stay dreams. Without operating the oil fields they will not have enough money especially as the SAA will be just the other side of the Euphrates shelling their trucks at will (the main pipelines run west) stopping them. Whilst the likes of Saudi might input money in the short term, with the price of oil where it is finance is becoming harder to find.

    As you say, once the SAA and allies have sorted some of the other areas they are tied up in, they will start the 'One Syria' campaign starting with the areas east of the Euphrates. How they get on with that is dependent on what the US does after ISIS is defeated in Deir Province. At that point any UN 'we are fighting ISIS on behalf of the World because Syria doesn't have the resources' figleaf that they currently hide behind goes. From then on the US would be taking the side of one party, the Kurds, in what would clearly be a civil war, their presence in which would be a major reason for a non peaceful settlement.

    I say that because whilst, as you say, the Kurds will want to fight, without US artillery, SF, armour, intel, logistics/supplies and CAS they have very little chance especially if the Syrians declare a no-fly zone That pretty dire situation should encourage them and the Syrian Government, who will have Russia demanding peace at their side, to sit down and do a deal. Whilst the Government is almost certainly going to have to agree to a fairly large degree of Kurdish autonomy it will insist that the Syrian Army and Border Service are national and that whilst there may be a Kurdish oriented police force there will not be an independant Syrian Kurdish Army.

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  calm on Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:38 pm

    Kurds will retreat to their land in Syria, and Arab FSA of SDF that have absorbed IS elements will be crushed by SAA, simple as that. They cannot hold anything, especially those oil fields in open desert.

    Kurds control oil, dams and one big city. Those are all bargaining chips for post war negotiations.


    As Turkey is gearing up to attack Afrin, we will see how Kurds make deals with Russia/SAA to save themselves. Same will happen with the rest of territory.


    I just want to see if Americans will push SDF to Al Bukamal, giving that they have free pass cross desert toward it.
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    PapaDragon

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  PapaDragon on Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:19 am

    calm wrote:Kurds will retreat to their land in Syria, and Arab FSA of SDF that have absorbed IS elements will be crushed by SAA, simple as that. They cannot hold anything, especially those oil fields in open desert.

    Kurds control oil, dams and one big city. Those are all bargaining chips for post war negotiations.


    As Turkey is gearing up to attack Afrin, we will see how Kurds make deals  with Russia/SAA to save themselves. Same will happen with the rest of territory.


    I just want to see if Americans will push SDF to Al Bukamal, giving that they have free pass cross desert toward it.

    Rojava Kurds talk tough but they will quickly sell their Afrin cousins to save their own asses and to keep Turks from going after them

    But I don't think Turks will stop at Afrin (they would be stupid if they did, you don't leave job half done)
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    Cyberspec

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  Cyberspec on Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:33 pm

    I seriously doubt that the PKK/IS/Jihadi "Democratic Forces"  Razz will have the necessary staying power now that the Kurds in Iraq have officially folded and have reneged on their referendum and are begging the Iraqi gov. for talks.....I mean that was Plan C wasn't it?...transform as much as possible former ISIS territory into a "Kurdistan"
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    JohninMK

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  JohninMK on Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:37 pm

    Looks like there is a chance that Deir may turn into a long slog like Raqqa

    Ivan Sidorenko‏ @IvanSidorenko1 9h9 hours ago

    #Syria #DeirEzZor New Report/Map Released by A #Tiger_Forces Commander - #ISIS first defensive lines inside the city was broken from SW AXIS




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    calm

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    Re: Syrian War: News #16

    Post  calm on Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:03 pm

    ^
    That territory overlaid on Raqqa. But first lines are much more fortified in Deir after years of fighting. We will see what will happen.

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