Syria's government-controlled army has regained control over large parts of the country's Aleppo governorate, a Syrian Armed Forces spokesman said Monday.
"After causing massive losses to the Islamic State organization, our troops took control over large areas," Gen. Ali Mayhoub told reporters.
A large number of terrorists is moving from Syria to the Turkish border amid the Syrian government-led army's offensive.
"Success achieved by our armed forces since the beginning of the operation, concentrated strikes from the air, as well as artillery strikes on the terrorists' control and command points are undermining their spirit. Many of them are moving to the Turkish border."
Syrian General Staff Lt.-Gen. Ali Abdullah Ayyoub said Thursday that the country's Armed Forces had launched a large-scale operation to retake occupied areas from the terrorists.
The Syrian government's forces launched the offensive after Russia’s Sukhoi Su-25, Su-24M and Su-34 attack aircraft, with the support of Su-30 jets, had commenced precision airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria on September 30, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, airstrikes have done considerable damage to ISIL command and logistics networks, as well as to infrastructure used to equip suicide bombers.
The Russian Air Force has carried out 55 sorties in the last 24 hours, hitting 53 Islamic State targets in four Syrian provinces and destroying command posts, terrorist training camps and a transfer point, among others.
Sukhoi Su-24M and Su-34 bombers, together with Su-25SM ground support aircraft, bombed ISIS positions in the provinces of Idlib, Latakia, Homs and Hama, the Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, told journalists.
The airstrikes destroyed seven command points, six training camps, six arms depots and a stronghold near the village of Salma in Latakia province.
Russian aircraft have also attacked 24 of the terrorists’ fortified strongpoints, along with weapons and vehicles stored there.
“Over the last day, Russian warplanes have also eliminated a convoy of terrorist vehicles, a mobile mortar gunnery team and three underground bunker systems," Konashenkov reported.
A Sukhoi Su-25 ground-support fighter jet, using reconnaissance data obtained by drones, bombed a mobile mortar battery in the Hama province, wiping out three SUVs with mortars mounted on them and a truck of munitions.
Also in Hama province, a Sukhoi Su-24M deployed a guided KAB-500 air bomb and destroyed an Islamic State fortified command post.
The convoy eliminated near the town of Sukeyk north of Hama consisted of three petrol tankers, a large truck and two SUVs with heavy machine guns mounted on them. All the vehicles have been destroyed.
A group of Sukhoi Su-24M bombers has hit a large transfer point of Islamic State terrorists in Latakia province, striking the target with high-explosive air bombs, which caused a fire at the installation equipped with underground facilities. The fire caused munitions stored at the facility to detonate.
The chances of escalation from a proxy war to outright war just went to 11 on the Spinal Tap amplifier of sabre-rattling. A day after British and NATO pilots were reportedly given the green light to take drastic action against Russian fighter jets if they come under threat during missions over Iraq, Interfax reports that the Russian Defense Ministry has demanded clarification. Senior defence sources say it is just a matter of time before our fighters are involved in a deadly confrontation with Russian jets.
The Chinese, it appears, are wholeheartedly behind Putin's efforts, judging by the following puff-piece from Xinhua (unofficially China's government mouthpiece)...
Russia's recent military intervention in the Syrian war in the form of airstrikes and missile attacks aimed both at supporting the government of President Bashar Al-Assad in combatting the Islamic State (IS) has reaped initial gains.
Russia's bombing campaign in Syria, which began on Sept. 30, has strengthened the Syrian government, laying the foundation for a dialogue with all countries concerned to come up with solutions that could drag Syria out of the internal conflict that has lasted for more than four years.
According to Russia Today, Russia started its bombing campaign in Syria with a goal to provide air support to the government troops in fighting various terrorist groups, primarily the IS.
Russian air strikes hit 55 Islamic State group targets in Syria in the past 24 hours, the defense ministry said Saturday, as Moscow ramped up its military campaign in the war-torn country.
Russia's air force has attacked a total of 112 targets since the start of the military actions.
On Thursday, Syrian government troops launched large-scale ground offensives under the cover of Russia's repeated air strikes. At the same time, Russia launched 26 cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea and destroyed 11 IS targets.
Syrian political analyst Osama Dannura said Russia's involvement in the Syrian conflict has upset the initial planning of Western powers that have their minds bent on toppling the Assad government.
The West's strategic shortcomings were demonstrated by the disastrous 500 million-U.S.-dollar program to train and arm moderate rebels, which generated only a handful of fighters, many of whom surrendered or were captured almost immediately. The scheme was finally scrapped on Friday.
The reason why the U.S.-coalition has failed to deal a blow to the IS, according to Syrian political analyst Maher Ihsan, is a lack of offensives by ground troops. Besides, while attacking the IS, the United States is also offering the opposition rebels assistance including weapons, most of which end up into the hands of IS fighters.
Around 40 percent of the IS infrastructure in Syria has been destroyed in just one week, Syria's Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad said on Wednesday.
But the huge escalation in British and NATO rhetoric towards Russia - green-lighting direct conflict - has made the situation dramatically more dangerous...
British and Nato pilots have been told to take the drastic action if they are fired on by Vladimir Putin's air force during missions over Iraq.
The move comes after British ministers warned Russia had made the situation in the Middle East "much more dangerous".
Senior defence sources say it is just a matter of time before our fighters are involved in a deadly confrontation with Russian jets.
One source said: "We need to protect our pilots but at the same time we're taking a step closer to war. It will only take one plane to be shot down in an air-to-air battle and the whole landscape will change. "
One source said: "No one knows what the Russians will do next. We do not know how they will respond if they come into contact with a Western jet.
"When planes are flying at supersonic speeds the airspace gets crowded very quickly. There could be a collision or a Russian pilot might be mistakenly shot down. "
Russia has asked the British defense attache in Moscow to clarify media reports that British pilots had been given permission to attack Russian jets if they are fired on whilst flying sorties over Iraq, Interfax news agency reported on Sunday.The British attache said he would submit an official response in the near future, RIA news agency reported.
One wonders just how far US, NATO "leadership" are willing to go to 'expose' Putin's evil intent? Especially in light of China's official mouthpiece (Xinhua News) reporting the following...
"The Russians have shown a naval capacity that was not expected," said Thomas Gomart, head of the French Institute for Foreign Relations, adding that Russia is "challenging the West's aerial supremacy."
Moscow offered on Tuesday to resume talks with Washington to avoid any misunderstanding concerning its airstrike operation, as well as to discuss ways to avoid conflicts between the United States and Russian warplanes over Syria.
Washington also said on Saturday that it would resume talks with Moscow to avoid accidents in the skies over the war-torn country.
On Friday, we reported the latest provocation in what has truly become a very dangerous, if largely pointless, staring contest between Beijing and Washington over China’s reclamation of land in The South China Sea.
Responding to suggestions that the US was set to sail warships around the islands Beijing has constructed atop reefs in the Spratlys, China served noticed that it would “never allow any country to violate China's territorial waters and airspace in the Spratly Islands, in the name of protecting freedom of navigation and overflight.” This was simply a formalized version of the more concise phrasing the PLA navy used when they instructed the pilots flying a US spy plane to “Go now!” when it ventured too close to Fiery Cross earlier this year.
It’s not immediately clear what China intends to do with the islands and further, it’s not entirely clear why anyone should necessarily care if Beijing wants to build “sand castles” in the middle of the ocean, but then again, for America’s regional allies the land reclamation efforts look a lot an attempt to build a series of military outposts by creating sovereign territory where there was none thereby effectively redrawing maritime boundaries and so, big brother in Washington is set to step in in order to protect vital shipping lanes.
Of course having already said that the navy plans to sail ships into the waters around the islands, the US can ill-afford to allow China’s “we won’t tolerate that” pronouncement to deter the Pentagon because the optics around that would be terrible at a time when the world is already questioning the strength and resolve of the US military. So the ships will indeed sail. Here’s WSJ:
The U.S. determination to challenge China with patrols near Chinese-built islands in the South China Sea will test Xi Jinping’s recent pledge that Beijing doesn’t intend to “militarize” the islands, an announcement that took U.S. officials by surprise.
The Chinese leader made the commitment during a news conference with President Barack Obama at the White House late last month, though he left it unclear how the pledge would affect China’s activities in the disputed area of the South China Sea
“It’s just a matter of time when it happens,” the official said. Another U.S. official indicated that the operation could come within days.
The question now is whether China will respond to such operations by reining in its plans to develop the islands or backing away from the commitment not to militarize them, pointing to the U.S. patrols as a provocation
Anyone who knows anything about how China generally prefers to respond in situations like these knows that Beijing will almost certainly call any US naval presence a "provocation" and they'll be exactly right. After all, there's something rather ironic about claiming that China is in the process of militarizing the South China Sea and then deciding that the best way to de-escalate the situation is to sail warships to the area. Here's WSJ again:
So in reality, the real question is this: now that Russia has moved to effectively reclaim the Mid-East from US influence, and now that China is in the process of using its island building efforts to establish what we've called a kind of Sino-Monroe Doctrine, how long will it be before someone actually challenges the US military by shooting down a plane in the desert or firing on a ship in the Spratlys just to test Washington's resolve?
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