Syria

The Israelis fire some unspecified thing (missile, artillery, bomb, etc.) into Syria in response to Syrians anti-aircraft fire against an Israeli plane, the plane supposedly being in Israeli airspace at the time. The Syrians said that a military post was hit, with one soldier killed and one injured.
www.cbc.ca/news/world/israel-syria-antiaircraft-shooting-1.5151736?cmp=rss
Syria said an Israeli attack against a military post in the country's south on Monday killed a soldier and injured another. And Israel, in a rare statement acknowledging it fired into Syria, said it was responding to an anti-aircraft fire from Syria against one of its combat planes.

The back-to-back statements come amid heightened regional tension over Iran's role in Syria and other parts of the Middle East. They also follow a number of reported Israeli strikes on Syria in the past ten days, according to state run media.
It sounds routine.
 
The Israelis fire some unspecified thing (missile, artillery, bomb, etc.) into Syria in response to Syrians anti-aircraft fire against an Israeli plane, the plane supposedly being in Israeli airspace at the time. The Syrians said that a military post was hit, with one soldier killed and one injured.
www.cbc.ca/news/world/israel-syria-antiaircraft-shooting-1.5151736?cmp=rss
It sounds routine.
SAA aiming fire at an Israeli aircraft not over Syrian territory doesn't answer the description of "routine" - hence the sharp reaction.

IAF destroys Syrian missile launcher after missile fired at Israeli plane
 
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SAA aiming fire at an Israeli aircraft not over Syrian territory doesn't answer the description of "routine" - hence the sharp reaction.

IAF destroys Syrian missile launcher after missile fired at Israeli plane
Israel lobs the odd bomb or missile at Syria for one reason or another on a regular basis, so this doesn't sound like the start of full on war. That makes the recent events routine so far as the rest of the world is concerned.

It's like Pakistan and India taking pot shots at each other over the border in Kashmir. It happens often enough that the rest of the world doesn't take much interest unless things look like they will escalate to full on war.
 
R&U videos version [subtitles] of the Anna News account of recent fighting at and around Kafr Nabudeh, Hama.
Anna News has just been banned on YouTube so it's good that R&U are putting these out:
 
Syria has a 'hatred of journalists', says UK envoy to the UN

Dame Karen Pierce, Brit Permanent Rep to the UN talking to Sky about the current Idlib fighting. Obviously, some journalists are welcomed by Assad's regime, others not so much.

I heard her yesterday and I was surprised in this clip they missed out the bit about Russia on the face of it (12 vetoes, air and ground support etc.) supporting Assad’s regime yet behind the scenes they do remonstrate against the regime but it appears to fall on deaf ears. She probably has more insight than we do:
Karen Pierce - Wikipedia

Hospitals completely destroyed by Syria regime forces

Karen’s piece accompanied the Alex Crawford video of what she says is hospitals being deliberately targeted. No surprise that Alex conforms with the predominant insurgent groups remaining in Idlib and their ‘dress code’
 
The UNSC meeting which took place on Tuesday 28th May 2019 mentioned upthread. Starts off regarding the refugees, civilian deaths etc. and goes onto how the SAA are (allegedly) preventing aid getting through. The various responses are understandable and show the deep polarity of members of the UNSC. There was a few references to the Episode in Game of Thrones and referencing destroying of cities by dragons:
Further Military Action in Syria’s North-West Will Overwhelm All Ability to Meet Civilian Needs, Humanitarian Official Warns, Urging Immediate Focus on Idlib | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases
The humanitarian response to fighting in north-western Syria, including Idlib, is stretched and further military action will overwhelm all ability to respond, the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs warned the Security Council today, appealing to the 15-member body to take immediate action.

Ursula Mueller, who is also Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, said there is no doubt that Council members are aware of the tragic situation in Syria, where the conflict is now in its ninth year. “The question today is what you will do to protect civilians in Idlib, the latest example of an entirely known, predictable and preventable humanitarian disaster unfolding before our eyes,” she said.

In Idlib alone, she reported more than 160 confirmed civilian deaths, the displacement of 270,000 people and attacks on heath-care facilities, schools and markets. Another 60,000 civilians will receive help in the coming days and weeks, in addition to the 1.2 million already being reached every month, she said.

Elsewhere, she expressed grave concern about the situation in Rukban, strongly urging Syrian authorities to grant permission for a third humanitarian convoy to the southern city. She also discussed the plight of 74,000 civilians at the Al Hol camp, 92 per cent of whom are women and children, and many of them foreigners, stressing that solutions for such foreign nationals must be found urgently.
The references I picked out (note it was in the penultimate, not final episode):
ANATOLIO NDONG MBA (Equatorial Guinea), ......................Recalling the final episode of the HBO television series Game of Thrones, he said there is no need to use dragons to destroy entire cities when land and air strikes cause very real damage. That metaphor should be food for thought for those who can exert influence on the parties to the conflict, he said.
MARIUSZ LEWICKI (Poland), also invoking Game of Thrones, said those who fail to comply with international humanitarian and human rights law must be held accountable. The fight against terrorists cannot justify indiscriminate attacks on civilians. ........
Notably the Russian rep hasn't seen it and does some 'whataboutery' on Raqqa. A bit like here. Apparently the 3M civilians are being held hostage by the terrorists. The fact that most made their way there after the areas they fled from came under Assad's govt control seems to escape him. No doubt we'll see many of the 3M refugees heading elsewhere than Assad govt controlled areas, Iran or Russia when Idlib finally falls:
Mr. VERSHININ (Russian Federation), taking the floor a second time and noting that he has not watched Game of Thrones, said that what is happening in Syria is not a game, but the reality of a sovereign country trying to survive and build the future its people wish to see. The international community bears an obligation to eradicate Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, he said, cautioning that Idlib risks becoming another Raqqa, bombed and razed by an international coalition led by the United States. His country is very committed to all the obligations outlined in its memorandum with Turkey, and he asked what signal the Council is sending to the 3 million civilians in Idlib who are being held hostage by terrorist organizations. Regarding the use of chemical weapons, he insisted on the need to act sensibly on the basis of tried and true information...........
The Syrian rep blames 'member states' for using the 'humanitarian situation' as a tool to target his his country and ruin its reputation (?), some unspecified 'aggressor states', he then showed a photo of an alleged meeting of terrorists and others in the Astana process allegedly sponsored by Tr Int. Blames the US re the refugee camp in Rukban, asks why the US is in Syria, blames the SDF for the Al Hol camp and of course wants the UN to stop Erdogan's 'delusions of restoring the Ottoman Empire'. As elsewhere, all foreign military forces are there illegally (forgetting presumably Resolution 2249) and 'will be dealt with accordingly'. Also to remove 'foreign terrorist fighters' (presumably the IS members held by the SDF) and hold them accountable for their actions:
BASHAR JA'AFARI (Syria), stating that “words may lie, but actions will always tell the truth”, said the humanitarian situation is being used by Member States inside and outside the Council as a tool with which to target his country and ruin the reputation of its State institutions. He wondered how long the Council will remain unable to compel aggressor States to stop their actions and hold them accountable. He recalled his statement to the Council on 17 May, when he asked what Council members would do when faced with a similar situation, and discussed a photograph depicting a meeting of terrorists in Idlib two days ago — sponsored by Turkish intelligence, chaired by the head of Al‑Nusra Front and including individuals who were part of the Astana process.

Regarding a third humanitarian convoy to Rukban, he said the two previous convoys, approved by Syria’s Government, had been denied entry for many days by occupying United States forces. Under the Geneva Conventions, occupying forces are required to protect civilians, and he asked what the United States is doing in Syria. Regarding the situation in Al Hol, he said that camp is under the control of a United States proxy militia known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. He went on to urge the Council to take action against the Turkish regime and end President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s delusions of restoring the Ottoman Empire. He recalled that the presence of any foreign military forces on its territory without approval is an act of aggression and occupation that will be dealt with accordingly. He called on all countries concerned to withdraw from Syria those foreign terrorist fighters who are its nationals, hold them accountable for their crimes and ensure they do not go on to pursue terrorism in Africa and elsewhere.
The Syrian rep also had some points to make on the Sky news team above:
.....Damascus respects the media, including the Sky News team, which, like all other journalists, must obtain proper visas to enter Syria and refrain from crossing borders in terrorist-held areas. Syria’s Government is jeopardizing itself to protect the accredited press in his country, he said, yet, those wishing to act in a Hollywood style will regret it. ........
 
R&U videos version [subtitles] of the Anna News account of recent fighting at and around Kafr Nabudeh, Hama.
Anna News has just been banned on YouTube so it's good that R&U are putting these out:
That is some very good footage of the fighting. I found amusing the bit where he was standing in the city saying "it is quite dangerous to be here" and then a BANG! as a round lands nearby and the camera wobbles all over before they get back up off the ground and he continues "As I said, it is quite dangerous to be here ...".

Keep posting these as you find them, as they are our best view of the actual fighting there on the ground.
 
That is some very good footage of the fighting. I found amusing the bit where he was standing in the city saying "it is quite dangerous to be here" and then a BANG! as a round lands nearby and the camera wobbles all over before they get back up off the ground and he continues "As I said, it is quite dangerous to be here ...".

Keep posting these as you find them, as they are our best view of the actual fighting there on the ground.
They are very interesting. It has been interesting (albeit second hand) to see the SAA become a more effective force.
Glad I wasn't in the 4x4 - 'Drive faster - they are using ATGM against this road'. Ah, cheers...
 
They are very interesting. It has been interesting (albeit second hand) to see the SAA become a more effective force.
Glad I wasn't in the 4x4 - 'Drive faster - they are using ATGM against this road'. Ah, cheers...
I’m not sure firing PKMs from the hip or ‘making safe’ mines while squatting over them are signs of an ‘effective force’ personally. The latter was probably for the camera but the former seems to be endemic in that part of the world.

The last phrases imply the assault on Idlib is finally on ‘And if big politics does not mix cards, once again, then the earth will begin to burn in the very lair of terrorists’. The reporter presumably suggesting that they should be allowed to do what they think is necessary to remove aNF/HTS, whatever the means.

US Official: Russia Unlikely to Support Full-Scale Offensive on Syria's Idlib
Having said that, Jeffrey (US Special Representative for Syria) seems to think Russia won’t support a full scale offensive at this time. It’s a limited offensive against specific terrorists, (msr between Aleppo and Damascus as above) at the moment:
"Our conversations with the Russians have not indicated that the Russians are ready to support a full-scale offensive into Idlib," U.S. Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey told reporters. "They tell us that this is only a limited set of military operations against specific terrorists."

Jeffrey, who was in New York for a closed-door U.N. Security Council meeting on the political situation in Syria, said Washington's main concern is not the terrorists, but the civilians who are affected by the violence.
 
I’m not sure firing PKMs from the hip or ‘making safe’ mines while squatting over them are signs of an ‘effective force’ personally. The latter was probably for the camera but the former seems to be endemic in that part of the world.

The last phrases imply the assault on Idlib is finally on ‘And if big politics does not mix cards, once again, then the earth will begin to burn in the very lair of terrorists’. The reporter presumably suggesting that they should be allowed to do what they think is necessary to remove aNF/HTS, whatever the means.

US Official: Russia Unlikely to Support Full-Scale Offensive on Syria's Idlib
Having said that, Jeffrey (US Special Representative for Syria) seems to think Russia won’t support a full scale offensive at this time. It’s a limited offensive against specific terrorists, (msr between Aleppo and Damascus as above) at the moment:
Agreed. They are 'more effective', generally, than some years ago. It is all relative. It is still the case that, in the films of the military of both sides, the Jihadist 'infantry' can look better trained/drilled but they are out-gunned and, at Kafr Nabudeh, the SyAAF and RuAF bombed the militants out of the town.
I can't guess what happens next in Idlib. The wider ramifications and 'what ifs' are many. It is so complex (stating the obvious).
 
Agreed. They are 'more effective', generally, than some years ago. It is all relative. It is still the case that, in the films of the military of both sides, the Jihadist 'infantry' can look better trained/drilled but they are out-gunned and, at Kafr Nabudeh, the SyAAF and RuAF bombed the militants out of the town.
I can't guess what happens next in Idlib. The wider ramifications and 'what ifs' are many. It is so complex (stating the obvious).
I would not be surprised if there is some more Russia-Turkey diplomacy going on in the background which the people fighting at the military level will not necessarily be aware of.

Ultimately the Russians will want to bring some sort of political and diplomatic solution into play involving the Syrian government, the Kurds, the Turks, the Iraqis, and possibly others, as well as any of the remaining non-Jihadi rebel groups who are willing to talk. They also have to slide the American army out of eastern Syria, preferably by making a deal with the Kurds to drop their cooperation with the Americans.

Or to put it another way, things are reaching the stage where the Russians can be looking at how to bring the war to a conclusion rather than just how to defeat some more rebels. There's probably no realistic way of dealing with the Jihadis other than to kill them, but the Kurds and some of the Turkish backed groups have to be brought into some sort of long term arrangement with the concurrence of the Turks, due to the realities of regional geography and power.
 
Video of various scenes in Idlib, with a text narrative of recent events. In short, the Rebels lobbing arty at the SAA, and the RuAF and SyAAF pasting towns in the likely path of an SAA ground assault. Lots of 'Alluh u' stuff in the rebel parts.

 
Video of various scenes in Idlib, with a text narrative of recent events. In short, the Rebels lobbing arty at the SAA, and the RuAF and SyAAF pasting towns in the likely path of an SAA ground assault. Lots of 'Alluh u' stuff in the rebel parts.

Interesting to see the 122mm rockets and what looked like a T55 (with added armour) being used by the rebels. Also the use of RBK 500 bombs by the RuAF.
 
Says it all:
“You are fighting the fiercest type of enemy and the worst kind, you are fighting U.S. and Turkish special forces.”
Motivational speaking :)
On a serious note, some/lots of equipment at least is getting to Idlib from somewhere. That is, it didn't all get there before Idlib became cut off from the rest of Syria.
 
Motivational speaking :)
Aka agitprop
On a serious note, some/lots of equipment at least is getting to Idlib from somewhere. That is, it didn't all get there before Idlib became cut off from the rest of Syria.
There is, and as the article says, there's a tough fight ahead. We've seen where they get much of their kit above and on the Russian roadshow (when the actual source is proven). Be it captured from SAA, Russian, Turkish, SDF, Iraqi sources etc Plus we know the 'moderate' rebels were given ATGM and lost them in the fighting between the factions. Luckily, 'they' stopped the ManPADS albeit I wouldn't be surprised if some more turned up.
 
And news of a Jihadi counter-offensive in another part of Hama. With the SAA manpower shortage, this may be a feature of the Hama/Idlib fighting, as it has been for years now. The Aleppo city recapture was slowed frequently by rebel attacks elsewhere in Syria and the need to deploy capable troops to deal therewith.

 
A video update from R&U videos of the fighting in Northern Hama and South South Western Idlib:


What seems to have happened in recent weeks is that an SAA offensive designed to make a pocket of a major rebel position in Al Lataminah, Northern Hama, has run into spoiler attacks both in Northern Hama itself and in the Western border of Idlib province. The SAA and RuAF are gradually restoring the situation but they were caught out by the size of the rebel attacks and have lost men, equipment and territory. The front line seems to consist of SAA outposts so the rebels can achieve local superiority in an initial attack.
Looking at a relief map of Idlib, the area being fought over at present is a range of hills, after which a Northward advance by the SAA would be through flat terrain.
You will notice in the video a lot of burned farmland. Rebel media is trying to make an issue of the intentional burning of crops by the SAA and RuAF. Govt areas seem affected too however so the burning is more likely accidental - very dry climate meets rocket barrages.

ANNA News has a new video out but the Eng version is not yet available.

Good mapping site to follow events in SCW:

Map of Syrian Civil War - Syria news and incidents today - syria.liveuamap.com
 

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