Syria

Nothing of substance? It's pretty obvious that all is not as advertised here.
Did you leave your inspecting/ investigating/ thinking hat at home for the last couple of years?
No, just now as then I deal with facts not speculation, especially media speculation.
We have well respected journalists reporting from Douma just after the event in '18 that it was a fake.



We have the ex-DSF getting his mic cut as soon as he starts laying down facts and stating unhelpful things.

View attachment 445180

Next, just after the event, we have the former First Sea Lord of the British Navy raising “alarm bells” about the UK government’s Syria story.
Alan West cast doubt on the FUKUS claim that the Syrian government is responsible for an alleged chemical attack live on the BBC.
View attachment 445181

Then we have all the so-called casualties that report being offered scoff for taking part in a very amateur decontam that should have seen many of the '1st responders' getting very, very ill through cross-contamination.
NB- the decontam footage is just after the 'event'.

Then we have the WKL leaks from inside the OPCW's Douma FFM.
Water would have been more than enough regarding decontamination after a chlorine attack and the chances of cross contamination would have been negligable even minutes after any such attack.
What exactly were you trying to say here?
You appear to be saying that you wouldn't trust anything Russian even if it was the last possible option.
I have worked in Russia, I have worked in other countries with Russians and in my time in Syria I worked alongside Russian forces, I have my opinion based on that experience.
Did that CNN footage work for you?
The one where the intrepid reporter is happy to sniff a chemical weapon.
Again I don't trust media speculation, some is more reliable than others but none is entirely accurate and all is biased one way or another.

Again, if it was chlorine, not a problem and there would probably be a noticeable odour even after some time.
 

TEEJ

Old-Salt
Does this suit your sensitive sensibilities as it's your type of news?
It's from CNN so has to be gen, right?
For some unexplained reason CNN have cut this footage from their official 'news' report but at least it's still out there for the moment.

Have CNN removed it? Did you actually check? In reality the full footage is still hosted by CNN.

CNN video website link


As others have pointed out nothing remarkable about a noticeable odour remaining if chlorine had been used.
 

184461

*Russian Troll*
Have CNN removed it? Did you actually check? In reality the full footage is still hosted by CNN.

CNN video website link


As others have pointed out nothing remarkable about a noticeable odour remaining if chlorine had been used.
It's irrelevant now but I did find a CNN report on YT where they cut that bit out.
It would've been interesting to have checked the dates as everyone in the comments section jumped on it like a tramp on chips.

Whether a CNN reporter sniffed a pack that had rx'd a good dose of a CW or not doesn't matter anymore.

Main topics like this are the ones that actually matter, the accounts that are rx'ing zero air-time.
Pay close attention to the 2nd paragraph.

1579862680078.png



Anyone here know how OPCW have responded to these allegations?
The last I checked the movers and shakers are still ignoring this story and they have the press doing the exact same thing.

Maybe it'll go away, who knows?

Maybe they can turn this around somehow?


Don't forget to click on it and read the comments.

I bet she wished she never bothered to open her gob now.

Unlike Ian Henderson an OPCW inspector who raised his head above the butts with his superiors at OPCW when they completely altered the AAR from the team on the ground and instead went with the fictitious report from the team in country X.

The US refused him a visa to enter the US to give a full account vis-a-vis and it was only through the Chinese that he was allowed to speak before the UN.
(Land of the free, eh?...)


Still not flagging any flags with you yet?
 
Assad's forces appear to have taken Maarat al-Numan. It's the second largest town in Idlib province, located on the MSR between Damascus and Aleppo. According to SOHR and Sana, Assad's forces have taken the town, albeit there are reports of clashes:
Heavy clashes broke out between rebels and government forces in Maarat al-Numan after the forces entered the town south of Idlib city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, after earlier reporting that the troops backed by Russian air strikes had taken full control.

Syrian state news agency SANA earlier said the army had “liberated most of the town’s districts”.
More refugees leaving the area and heading to Turkey which already houses 3.5M Syrian refugees. None of whom seem to want to return to Assad govt controlled areas:
People were fleeing towns in southern Idlib, a Reuters witness said. Some headed towards camps for internally displaced persons or rebel-held towns near the Turkish border.

“When the air strikes began we fled our village and the area. We can no longer stay,” said 39-year-old Mohammed Haj from the Jabal al-Zawiya region south of Turkey. “We don’t know where to go, we just got in our car and left.”
----------
“Today and yesterday there was a big exodus. There is heavy shelling in the areas south of Idlib,” said Salman Eid, a 28-year-old from Talat al-Karama. “People took their children and belongings and are going to the camps.”
Turkey again upping the rhetoric about their outposts:
The renewed fighting comes despite a Jan. 12 ceasefire deal between Turkey and Russia, which back opposing sides of the conflict. Turkey’s Defence Ministry said Turkish forces would retaliate “in the strongest way, without hesitation” against any attack on its observation posts in Idlib by Assad’s forces.
 
More rhetoric from Erdogan. Tbh, I'm not sure what he expected, thinking Putin and Assad would comply with any agreement, or at least until they had finished in the south and decided to move on Idlib:
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that Russia was not abiding by the Sochi or Astana agreements regarding Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, broadcaster NTV reported on Wednesday.

Renewed bombardments by Russia-backed Syrian government forces on Idlib have raised concern of a new refugee wave from the area, where some 3 million people live.
I can see Tr forces making some gesture against Assad's ground forces, but what happens if (or not) Russia responds is still unclear:
Erdogan made the comments to reporters on his flight back from Senegal. He was also quoted as saying Turkey had told Russia that Ankara is running out of patience with the bombardments, adding that it would do what is necessary.
 
Seems Erdogan is true to his word and after a reported killing of 5 Tr soldier's by Assad regime forces, the Turks have responded hitting 54 targets and 'neutralising' 76 of Assad's troops
Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkish forces had hit 54 targets in Idlib in retaliation and “neutralised” 76 Syrian government soldiers, the state-owned Anadolu agency reported.

Erdogan had earlier said the retaliatory operations included the use of F-16 fighter jets and responded to what Turkey called intense shelling of its troops in Idlib, the last big rebel stronghold after nearly nine years of war in Syria.
Erdogan, who's in Kiev says that Tr determination shouldn't be questioned:
“We are determined to continue our operations for the security of our country, people and our brothers in Idlib. Those who question our determination will soon understand they made a mistake,” Erdogan said in Istanbul before flying to Kiev.

Speaking later in the Ukrainian capital, he said developments in Idlib had become “unmanageable”.
Seems 'the hotline' between Ankara and Moscow wasn't being kept up to date with troops movements, hence the shelling of Tr forces. The Russians have also denied TrAF jets entered Syrian airspace:
The Russian defence ministry said the Turkish units came under fire from Syrian government forces after moving without notifying Russia, though Turkey said it had coordinated its military movements with Moscow.

Though Erdogan said fighter jets were involved in Turkey’s response, the Russian defence ministry said Turkish planes had not violated Syria’s border and no air strikes on Syrian troops had been recorded.
SOHR say 13 of Assad's govt troops were killed. This all stems from what Erdogan calls breaches of the 2017 agreement, which of course Russia denies:
The Syrian Observatory, a war monitor based in Britain, said 13 members of the Syrian government forces had been killed in Turkish shelling. A Syrian state TV correspondent said there had been no casualties among its government forces.

Erdogan accuses Russia of violating a 2017 agreement to reduce fighting in the region, and charge that Russia denies.
 
UNSC meeting tomorrow to discuss Idlib. No doubt nothing will change with an escalating possibility of direct confrontation between Tr forces and those of the Assad govt:
James Jeffrey, U.S. special envoy for Syria engagement and fight against Islamic State, said the United States was “very very worried” about the Syrian government assault, backed by Russia, on Idlib, and he repeated calls on Moscow to end the conflict.

“This is a dangerous conflict. It needs to be brought to an end. Russia needs to change its policies,” Jeffrey said.

The United States, France and the United Kingdom called for a United Nations Security Council meeting on Thursday to discuss the situation in Idlib.
Of possibly more interest is the statement that not only have Russian forces as expected moved into the vacuum created by the US withdrawal in NE Syria, that they are making incursions further into ‘east of the Euphrates’
But Jeffrey on Wednesday said there have been more incidents of Russia’s violating the terms of de-confliction in what he characterized as an attempt to challenge the U.S. presence in there.

“We’ve seen a limited number of occasions where ... they’ve tried to come deep into the area where we and the SDF are patrolling well inside the basic lines we have sketched. Those are the ones that are worrying me,” he said, referring to Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that works with Washington in northeastern Syria.

He said while the numbers of such incidents were not very high, they were on the rise. “Thus is troubling,” he said, and called on Moscow to adhere fully to the de-confliction agreements with the United States.
 

Slime

LE
It’s amusing to dip into this thread every now and then.

While the adult or honest narrative moves on with each new development the shitposter is still in permanent stagnation.

Still asking questions to those with actual subject knowledge.
Still ignoring the facts or answers from those who know (while not having the knowledge to know if the answers are correct).

It’s an amusing thing to see someone like the shitposter asking for answers (an admission they don’t have the knowledge themself), then saying the answers they are given are wrong.

Ive been doing some interesting research into shitposters away from ARRSE, it would be nice if any of them could be honest enough to admit they feel worthless, powerless or a bit thick etc, but part of their individual make up doesn’t allow their brains to see that they are the actual problem and not everyone else.
 
OPCW have investigated the leak of one persons report back in May, the summing up by Arias says what many think:
OPCW chief Fernando Arias told OPCW states in comments published on Thursday that the two individuals are “not whistle-blowers. They are individuals who could not accept that their views were not backed by evidence.”
Interestingly, the two who were not named in the report are supposed to have left the agency before most of the analytical work was complete:
Arias added that most of the analytical work on Douma took place after they had already left the agency.
The investigation was completed by ‘independent, professional investigators, from outside the organization’:
The “deliberate and premeditated breaches of confidentiality ... are considered to be serious,” said an OPCW statement setting out the results of the investigation, which it said was carried out by “independent, professional investigators, from outside the organization”.
 
OPCW have investigated the leak of one persons report back in May, the summing up by Arias says what many think:

Interestingly, the two who were not named in the report are supposed to have left the agency before most of the analytical work was complete:

The investigation was completed by ‘independent, professional investigators, from outside the organization’:
I was just about to post this link:


It backs up most of what I've been hearing on the grapevine and also my opinion regarding the individuals involved.
 

Slime

LE
The above posts will ruin the shitposters line of argument.
We will probably now be told the OPCW are: liars, stooges, puppets or it’s an anti Russian conspiracy etc.

The facts of ‘real life’ always ruin his wibbling conspiracies.

It would be nice If we could get back to discussing what is actually happening in Syria again for a while.
 
A long video from R&U about the fight for the M5 highway. A battle that's taken the SAA to Idlib city itself.
Much of the major fighting is done at night it seems with plentiful supply of night vision kit to the SAA. The Jihadists/rebels are not well resourced with such kit and it is making a difference.
Edit: is there a cooler-looking military vehicle than the BMP-1?
Edit 2 - moment at 19.11 when SAA men recapture base where SAA unit was wiped out in 2014. 2014 - and that wasn't even the war's start. All this time that Syria has seen war.
 
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Turkey sending supplies (and reinforcements?) into Idlib. Also saying they are in talks with Russia about the Assad govt assault and their Hezbollah allies. The talks apparently lasted three hours and were inconclusive, with both parties agreeing to meet again next week:
“The situation in Idlib was discussed,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said after the talks. “Steps that could be taken to establish peace on the ground as soon as possible and advance the political process were evaluated.”
The UN say the fighting has displaced another 600,000 refugees since December, with Turkey already holding 3.6M:
The escalation in Idlib has displaced around 600,000 people since the beginning of December, according to the United Nations, and disrupted the fragile cooperation between Russia and Turkey, which already hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees.
Turkey also mentions their outposts are prepared to respond to any further attacks by Assad’s forces:
“Our checkpoints in Idlib continue their duties as usual and are capable of protecting themselves,” Turkey’s Defence Ministry said, adding they would respond to any new attack “in the harshest manner in accordance with legitimate defense”.
SOHR reporting 430 Tr mil vehicles having crossed into Idlib in the past 24 hrs with Tr forces saying they are setting up a new outpost at al Mastoumah on the southern approach to Idlib:
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, said on Saturday that 430 Turkish military vehicles had crossed into Idlib in the last 24 hours.

Turkish forces were setting up a new post at Al-Mastoumah, on the southern approach to Idlib city, the Observatory said.
Hezbollah say they have taken al Eis to the east of Idlib:
The military media unit of the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah, which supports Assad, said it had also taken control of Syrian government force had also taken the town of Al-Eis east of Idlib, close to the main north-south highway leading to Aleppo.(awaits Reuter’s edit on this para)
Elsewhere, Iran reckons they can mediate between Turkey and Assad’s govt. Unlikely imo to be in Turkey’s interest in view of Iran’s support of Assad’s govt:
In a meeting between the visiting United Nations’ special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, and Iranian officials, Tehran underlined the importance of resolving issues in Syria through diplomacy, it said on its website.

“During the meeting, Iran reiterated that civilians in Syria should not be used as human shields ... and that Iran is ready to mediate between Turkey and Syria to solve the issue,” the website reported.
 
A long video from R&U about the fight for the M5 highway. A battle that's taken the SAA to Idlib city itself.
Much of the major fighting is done at night it seems with plentiful supply of night vision kit to the SAA. The Jihadists/rebels are not well resourced with such kit and it is making a difference.
Edit: is there a cooler-looking military vehicle than the BMP-1?
Edit 2 - moment at 19.11 when SAA men recapture base where SAA unit was wiped out in 2014. 2014 - and that wasn't even the war's start. All this time that Syria has seen war.
It's long, but worth seeing. There are plenty of scenes of fighting, and later on a tour of a number of the very extensive tunnel complexes.
 
Another R&U video - an ANNA News video with subtitles - regarding the fighting on the M4 road.
The video pre-dates today's SAA vs Turkey artillery exchange.
 
There was a minor kerfuffle between American troops and the locals in northeastern Syria.
U.S. troops fatally shoot Syrian man after convoy blocked
Long story short, an American convoy were attempting to pass through a village in northeastern Syria. The locals appear to be pro-government, and they refused to let the Americans pass through their checkpoint into the village.

This turned into a stand off, after which the locals threw rocks at the Americans and a few fired rifles into the air. This degenerated into "fire bombs" (I assume molotov cocktails) being thrown at the vehicles. The Americans fired smoke grenades at them and then fired into the crowd with rifles.

One local was killed and one wounded by the Americans. There are conflicting reports on whether the person killed was a civilian or a militiaman, although it must be admitted that the line between the two can be rather fuzzy so this may be simply a different interpretation of his status.

SOHR and Syrian news agency SANA broadly agree on the general outline of what happened, although they differ on some of the details.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said residents and armed pro-government militiamen in Khirbet Ammu blocked the path of a U.S. convoy. The militia fired in the air, prompting the American troops to fire smoke bombs. Tension escalated and U.S. troops killed one person, the Observatory said.
There are apparently several videos of the incident which the news story refers to, although I haven't seen them myself.
A video posted on state news agency SANA's website showed angry men firing small arms at a convoy of several armoured U.S. vehicles flying the U.S. flag. Some residents pelted the convoy with stones, while another dumped a bucket full of dirt on the back of one vehicle.

In one of the worst incidents of violence against U.S. troops deployed in northeastern Syria, a small fire appears to ignite on an armoured vehicle, apparently from fire bombs lobbed at the convoy. U.S. soldiers were seen standing in the middle of the melee, trying to disperse the crowd.

Other videos showed another vehicle stuck in the dirt, apparently having veered into a ditch, while another had a flat tire. In one video, a resident walked up to U.S. soldiers at one of the vehicles, holding a U.S. flag, screaming: "What do you want from our country? What is your business here?" A soldier tells the shouting man to "back off."
According to SOHR a Russian convoy arrived to defuse the situation.
The Observatory also said that a Russian convoy arrived on the scene to defuse the tension.
The news report, apparently referring to one of the videos, said that US, Russian, and Syrian flags could be seen next to one another at one point during the incident.
At one point during the incident, U.S., Russian and Syrian flags could be seen next to each other, reflecting the complicated terrain in northeastern Syria. Some reports said a Russian convoy arrived on the scene to defuse the tension.
When asked about the incident, the Americans admitted there was an "altercation", but refused to provide any details and also denied that there were any Russians present.
Air Force Lt.-Col. Carla Gleason, travelling with U.S. Defence Secretary Mark Esper in Brussels, said no Americans were killed in the incident.

Asked about the incident, Esper said in Brussels he was told there was an "altercation," without providing details.

"As far as I know today's incident did not involve the Russians," he said.
The story also briefly discusses the recent government advances in Idlib which were the subject of the videos above. This has resulted in the clearing of Syria's most important strategic highway, the M5. This highway links Damascus, Hama, and Homs to Aleppo and regaining control of this highway is considered to be a very significant event.
Russia's Defence Ministry said in a statement that Syrian troops fully cleared the M5.

"Syria's most important transport artery — the M5 highway linking the blocked northern capital of Aleppo with Hama, Homs and Damascus in the south — has been freed from terrorists," the statement said.
 


In Russian, but a fascinating, if graphic summary of the most recent fighting in Idlib with some of the best close-in combat footage I've ever seen. Likely to be an English translation shortly..

It is clear from the video that the rebels are really now up against it, despite support from Turkey. One failed rebel attack is shown both before, during (drone images) and after, from both sides - some of the HTS fighters in the forming up footage can later be made out, dead, in the aftermath, along with their vehicles (some of which are obviously Turkish).
 
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In Russian, but a fascinating, if graphic summary of the most recent fighting in Idlib with some of the best close-in combat footage I've ever seen. Likely to be an English translation shortly..

It is clear from the video that the rebels are really now up against it, despite support from Turkey. One failed rebel attack is shown both before, during (drone images) and after, from both sides - some of the HTS fighters in the forming up footage can later be made out, dead, in the aftermath, along with their vehicles (some of which are obviously Turkish).
Outstanding so far. Thank you.
I've just paused the video to make the point, again, about how lightly - burdened the SAA guys are when attacking. Light packs at most. A walkie-talkie, some ammunition. Not pack horses like NATO infantry.
Edit: the impact on the fighting of uncontested air power is dramatic. Iirc, the Jihadists have recently tried - if possible - to carry out attacks and movements on overcast days. Even single 4x4 are deemed worthy targets.

Edit two - At 26.12 there is footage from a Russian drone/aircraft of a Jihadis attack - BMP, etc - falling apart under SAA artillery, cannon and tank fire. Pretty impressive.
 
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