Massive Setback in Syria as Insurgents Break Aleppo Siege.

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The moment of the detonation of an insurgent suicide vehicle bomb at the Aleppo Artillery school. The attack marked the start of a successful insurgent offensive against the site that has seen them break the month long Aleppo siege and turn the tables on the loyalists by cutting their sole supply line into Aleppo city..
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The insurgent detonated a series of vehicle bombs against the Aleppo Artillery Academy on August 6th, 2016. Massive blasts.
Before and after maps show where the insugrents broke through the Syrian positions form both inside and outside the Aleppo pocket.
Before and after maps show where the insurgents broke through the Syrian positions form both inside and outside the Aleppo pocket.
Before and after maps show where the insugrents broke through the Syrian positions form both inside and outside the Aleppo pocket.
Before and after maps show where the insurgents broke through the Syrian positions form both inside and outside the Aleppo pocket.

August 9th, 2016.

Massive Setback in Syria as Insurgents Break Aleppo Siege.

A massive week-long series of insurgent offensives have succeeded in breaking the encirclement of Eastern Aleppo.

The jihadist coalition Jaish al Fatah (Army of Conquest) achieved breakthroughs from both inside and outside the Aleppo pocket on August 6th ending the siege imposed on insurgent held east Aleppo several weeks ago.

The insurgents broke through the Syrian defensive lines at the Aleppo Artillery Academy, enabling them to carve out a 1.5 km strip connecting the east Aleppo city pocket with their positions to the south of the city.

The strip that has been carved out does not provide the insurgents with a reliable supply line into Aleppo as the Syrian Army are still in position to fire upon any vehicles traveling into and out of eastern Aleppo but as far as the fighters being trapped, that is over.

To add insult to injury, not only have they broken the siege, they have semi-reversed the situation, cutting off the main supply line between Damascus and Aleppo meaning that Government held Western Aleppo is in danger of being cut off and besieged. The government now relies on the Castello road supply line captured from the insurgents in early July.

The jihadists have now announced their intention to drive the Syrian Army from Aleppo entirely, this is probably not a realistic goal at least in the short to medium term but it shows the effect that breaking the siege has had on their morale.

A Remarkable Victory.

So a bunch of guys with AKs, backed by high quality US made guided missiles and spearheaded by massive drive-in suicide bombs, managed to completely over run the Syrian Army’s defensive positions in southern Aleppo despite intense air bombardment.

The scene at the Artillery Academy was remarkable, a massive facility abandoned seemingly with barely a fight, yet this was supposed to be the primary loyalist defensive position on the Southern perimeter of Aleppo.

There were about three dead bodies visible and that was it. It seems that following the initial onslaught of vehicle bombs the majority of the defensive force withdrew from their positions.

A leaked recording said to be an intercepted transmission made by a Hezbollah fighter prior to the withdrawal from the Artillery Academy contained statements such as “only Lebanese are left here…all the militia went home..we have been abandoned.” You get the idea.

Hezbollah fighter in “leaked tape”: We were abandoned

This is an immense calamity, nigh on catastrophe and the best conclusion that can be drawn from this is that there is no military solution in Syria.

This does not mean the insurgents are going to win the war. They are not going to win the war, but this does show pretty clearly that the loyalist side for whatever reason, despite the intense Russian air support, cannot win the war unless dramatic improvements are made in the near future.

Massive Loss of Prestige.

The encirclement of the Aleppo pocket was a big deal in military terms, but more importantly in terms of the narrative of the conflict.

The whole prestige of the operation takes a massive hit on the back of this. When you call on the other side to surrender, as the Syrian Army have done in recent weeks. you look pretty bad when they are able to fight their way out of the pocket.

All available resources had to be devoted towards preventing the insurgents from breaking the siege yet the Syrian Army in recent days has started a massive offensive in Latakia province.

The headlines tell a sorry story. .The insurgent offensive began on July 31st.

This is from the 29th.

Hundreds of Islamist rebels leave Latakia frontline for new Aleppo offensive

And from the 30th.

Syrian Army begins massive offensive in northern Latakia

The lack of acumen and tactical flexibility is cruelly exposed.

Jaish al Fatah insurgents encounter almost no opposition as they enter the Aleppo Artillery Academy.
Jaish al Fatah insurgents encounter almost no opposition as they enter the Aleppo Artillery Academy.
The Aleppo Artillery Academy was seemingly largely vacated before the insurgents arrived, the bodies of around three Syrian soldiers were visible. This was supposed to be their major defensive position in south Aleppo!
The Aleppo Artillery Academy was seemingly largely vacated before the insurgents arrived, the bodies of around three Syrian soldiers were visible. This was supposed to be their major defensive position in south Aleppo!
MLRS shells and airstrikes rain down on the over run Aleppo Artillery Academy.
MLRS shells and airstrikes rain down on the over run Aleppo Artillery Academy.
Massive russian Aitstrike hits the over run Aleppo Artillery Academy.
Massive Russian Airstrike hits the over run Aleppo Artillery Academy.
The insurgent offensive was spearheaded by massive suicide blasts from both inside and outside the pocket. This was the vehicle used for the inside the pocket car bomb attack on Ramouseh.
The insurgent offensive was spearheaded by massive suicide blasts from both inside and outside the pocket. This was the vehicle used for the inside the pocket car bomb attack on Ramouseh.
The insurgent offensive was spearheaded by massive suicide blasts from both inside and outside the pocket. This was the inside the pocket car bomb attack on Ramouseh.
The insurgent offensive was spearheaded by massive suicide blasts from both inside and outside the pocket. This was the inside the pocket car bomb attack on Ramouseh.

Quality problems.

Other than the Tiger Forces, Hezbollah and the IRGC the loyalist side is fielding a combination of poorly trained conscripts and Shia volunteers from far afield, many of whom are completely out of their depth.

Conscripts make for wretched soldiers for completely obvious reasons, the problem of conscripts is compounded by the fact that the loyalist forces are constantly fighting on numerous fronts and thus dissipate the small portion of high quality forces at their disposal.

All the people in the insurgent held areas are part of the war effort whether they like it or not but in Government held Syria people are still frolicking on the beach and living their normal lives as if there was no war.

The Unseen side of war-torn Syria-Hundreds party at the beach and soak in the sun just 100 miles from Aleppo

Internal Critiques.

After the Tiger Forces left a state of the art T90 tank on the battlefield to be scavenged by US backed head choppers Nour al Din al Zenki, South Front stated that the Russians did not want to give any more equipment to the Syrian Army because they were not well enough trained and they left it behind too easily and too often.

South Front stated at the time that the Russians would in future only entrust high level equipment to the Hezbollah and IRGC units as they were the only forces considered competent and reliable.

The embarrassment with the T90 lost to al Zenki aside, the Tiger Force do have a solid record of defeating the insurgents of all stripes, they have repeatedly defeated both ISIS and the Army of Conquest, including key victories in north and east Aleppo in recent months, but they appear are fully stretched holding onto their northern part of the Aleppo encirclement, now comprising the sole government held supply line out of Aleppo.

It was the Tiger Force that actually closed the Castello Road from the north at the start of July having spent weeks fighting vicious pitched battles for the Mallah farms area just to the north of Castello road.

Generally the insurgents know where the Tiger Force are deployed and they simply launch their attacks somewhere else as they have done on this occasion.

It can be presumed that the Tiger Force will be expected to enter the battle in southern Aleppo in the near future to at least re-open the government supply line to Damascus.

Once they are fully mired in that area the insurgents will presumably attack the Aleppo pocket in another spot and on and on it will go.

Force Dissipation.

One of the things that I have always found troubling about the Syrian Government efforts is how dissipated they are, so while all efforts and all manpower available should have been devoted to the protection of the winning position in Aleppo, the Syrian Army was engaging in large scale offensives in Latakia and the Damascus countryside, as well as fighting a desperate but large-scale rearguard action in Der ez Zour in the far east and daily battles in the Homs and Hama countryside/desert.

To me this is one obvious reason why there never seem to be enough troops to counter the insurgents, they are trying to do too many things at once, some things, like Der ez Zour are essential, but others are not.

Latakia.

The town of Kinsabba has changed hands so many times that it is becoming meaningless. The Syrians have taken the town at least twice and lost it at least twice in the past eight or nine months.

The whole Latakia offensive faltered at a place/hill called Kabbani, many months ago the Syrians were poised to end the war in Latakia and be able to move east towards Idlib once the hill was seized, but for reasons that were never explained they were never able to take Kabbani (an admittedly great defensive position-a mountain layered with heavy forest) and ever since then the war in Latakia has been a back and forth non-event for the most part.

Syrian Army surrounds Kinsibba in northeast Latakia

The insurgents are not especially strong in Latakia so it might be better to simply engage in a holding operation behind heavily fortified and artillery defended positions and send all surplus forces available to the truly essential Aleppo operation.

The leadership of Syria appears to be incompetent.

The efforts of the Syrian Government to tell their side of the story have been half-hearted at best.

Both Iran and Russia do a far better job of telling the loyalist side of the story yet there is no reason this need be the case. Syria should not be relying on Press TV and Russia Today, they should be able to tell their story to the world and the failure to even attempt to do so speaks of a government that is firmly anchored in the past and with an apparent habitual passivity that is a complete disaster.

The Syrian state broadcaster actually seem to believe that if they say things are going well and the rebels are being trounced than people will believe it, especially if they play some ultra-corny martial music behind it. (In fairness the insurgent music is even worse, downright nauseating)

All The Rhetoric Now Rings Hollow.

The Syrian President’s claim that the Syrian Army will retake all of Syria now seems a distant and unrealistic dream.

The next round of peace talks are scheduled for late August, the loyalist side might as well try to come up with some kind of face saving compromise because all hope of a military victory has seemingly gone.

Syria is most likely going to be destroyed, the state is not going to exist in ten years time and the leadership of Syria bear immense responsibility.

Iran and Russia are going to lose immense prestige as a result of the fiasco in South West Aleppo. They appear to have been blind to the shortcomings of the Syrian Government and by propping it up they have almost served to mask the flaws.

For years now people have been making excuses for the Syrian Government that ignore the reality.

For example it is often stated that the war is not really the fault of the government because tens of thousands of jihadists flowed over the Turkish and Jordanian borders.

There is an element of truth here but it ignores the fact that the policing of the borders was the responsibility of the Syrian Government who were running a highly autocratic state so the jihadists were not simply magically inserted into the country they were able to enter Syria because the Syrian security forces were not capable of doing their job and sealing it.

The President of Syria Bashar al Assad often gives interviews and when he is asked how he would like to be remembered he often states that he would like to be remembered as the man who held Syria together throughout the crisis, if events continue on their current path he will be the last President of united Syria, he will be the incompetent who oversaw the nation’s destruction despite the loyal support of major allies Russian, Iran and China.

Next time you find yourself watching the BBC or reading the Guardian, remember they support this.
Next time you find yourself watching the BBC or reading the Guardian, remember they support this.

A Nightmarish Future Awaits the Entire Middle East.

These victories portend a nightmarish future for people right across the Gulf and the Levant as the viciously sectarian insurgents are not going to stop fighting after the war in Syria is over whether they succeed in destroying the secular, multi-confessional state and replacing it with a Wahhabist nightmare or not.

The insurgents have named their offensive in honour of a man named Ibrahim el Youssef, a member of the Syrian Army who summoned a group of Army cadets to a morning meeting in 1979 and proceeded, along with several Muslim Brotherhood counterparts to massacre between 50 and 80 defenceless young soldiers.

According to the government account, members of all sectors of Syrian society were among the murdered but the insurgent account has it that all those killed were Alawites and this makes it an act worthy of emulation almost 40 years later!

Aleppo Artillery School Massacre

These are not people who are going to win a war and return to civilian life, although there are always individual exceptions. The group is going to move onto the next battle.

The serial war propagandists of the Guardian and the BBC are contemptibly trying to compare the situation in Aleppo with Srebrenica or Rwanda, blithely overlooking the repeated chemical weapons attacks by the insurgents, some of which they actually openly admit to conducting and missing the point entirely that for all it’s faults, the Syrian Government has never targeted people based on their sectarian identity, but if they ever achieved their goal of a rebel victory,the Alawites if Syria would likely be in a position where they would leave or die because these insurgents have been sold on a deeply intolerant and viciously sectarian ideology, hiding behind the banner of supposed Islam.

How ironic the warmongers mention of Rwanda and Srebrenica will seem if that is ever allowed to happen!

All of this is happening because the decision has been taken to redraw the boundaries of the middle east, the Sykes Picot borders are to be destroyed and replaced with quasi-Zionist sectarian statelets in constant warfare with their neighbours..

A Zionist Plan for the Middle East PDF – Yinon

Syria now seems set to become the new Libya, Somalia or Yemen, the people are going to be mired in decades of chaos and mayhem and the only authority will be the bomb the gun and the warlord.

The Caravan of Death is Not Going to Stop at Iraq and Syria.

The foolish and wicked leaders of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states who are currently gloating are going to be experience a rude awakening as the jihadism they have funded and nurtured is turned upon them and their nation is reduced to a chaotic bloody nightmare like Syria and Iraq. The clock ticks.

The Islam-Muslim Psyop

Brigades of the Islamic elite || The first moments storm the neighborhood Ramouseh Building E

SYRIA:«JAYSH AL-FATEH» INSIDE ARTILLERY ACADEMY BASE No:2

SYRIA:«JABHAT FATEH AL-SHAM»(EX AL-NUSRA) DETONATED A VBIED IN RAMOUSEH DISTRICT 

Battle for Aleppo | August 6th 2016 | Part one

Battle for Aleppo | August 6th 2016 | Part Two

Battle for Aleppo | August 6th 2016 | Part 3

Syrian War Report – August 8, 2016: Jihadists Break Aleppo Siege

Syrian War Report – August 9, 2016: Stalemate in Battle for Aleppo?

Syrian War Report – August 10, 2016: Further Escalation

Syrian War Report – August 12, 2016: Militants Threaten Government’s Supply Lines

Syria: Government forces launch airstrikes on the Ramousah military complex in Aleppo

2016-08-07 Airstrikes using incendiary munitions on targets in Idlib city

Jihadist Aleppo offensive of early August | Ahrar al-Sham video (uncut)

Aleppo Artillery School Massacre

*”The Aleppo Artillery School massacre was a massacre of Syrian Army cadets by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was part of the Islamist uprising in Syria, 1976–1982.

Course of Events

The massacre occurred on June 16, 1979, in the Ramouseh district of the city of Aleppo, Syria. An officer on duty, Ibrahim el-Youssef, and members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood calling themselves the Fighting Vanguard (at-Tali’a al-Muqatila) and led by `Adnan `Uqla, massacred between 50 and 83 Alawi cadets in the Aleppo Artillery School.[1][2][3] The duty officer in charge of the school called Alawite cadets to an urgent morning meeting in the mess hall of the school; when they arrived, he and his accomplices opened fire on the unarmed cadets with automatic weapons and grenades.[4] The incident marked the beginning of full scale urban warfare of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood against that ruling Alawites”

Russian Helicopter Downed Amid Massive Insurgent Offensive to Break Aleppo Siege.

The wreckage of the downed Russian MI8 helicopter burns near the Idlib town of Saraqib yesterday.
The wreckage of the downed Russian MI8 helicopter burns near the Idlib town of Saraqib yesterday as insurgents gather at the site. .
Insurgents diplay an ID card they retriieved from the wreckage of the downed Helicopter.
Insurgents display the ID card showing a female member of the Russian military they retrieved from the wreckage of the downed Helicopter.

August 3rd, 2016.

Russian Helicopter Downed and Massive Insurgent Offensive to Break the Aleppo Siege.

The Russian Military have suffered their worst loss of the 10 month Syrian engagement after an MI8 helicopter crashed in the insurgent held Idlib province yesterday. All five personnel on board are believed dead although in the footage of the aftermath only two bodies can be seen.

These bodies are a considerable distance from the downed helicopter suggesting that the people dead on the ground survived the crash and were able to crawl from the burning helicopter before succumbing to their wounds or being executed by the insurgents who found them.

These lkosses bring the Russian death toll in Syria to at least nineteen. (Source) It is also claimed that a number of Russian private military contractors have also perished in Syria and this may well be true but is very hard to substantiate.

The cause of the crash is not known and it is worth remembering that when two Russians died in an MI35 helicopter crash last month, jihadists were initially blamed for shooting it down but the visual evidence indicated that the helicopter was struck by a missile fired from another helicopter operating in the area.

Therefore, the MI8 cannot be presumed to have been shot down by the insurgents, and generally when the insurgents are going to do something big they always film it so this may have been lucky small arms fire, a missile or an accident due to pilot error or mechanical failure. It is being reported as being the result of ground fire, this may well be correct or merely the most dramatic rendering of the incident. (the Russian military later confirmed ground fire as the cause of the loss of the helicopter- Source)

The helicopter crashed near the town of Saraqib in Idlib province, a stronghold of the Sunni extremist insurgents.where the Syrian government hold only two small Shia majority towns al Fu’ah and Kafriyah, besieged since early 2015. (Source)

Footage posted on Liveleak showed a large group of locals gathered at the site of the crash. One fellow is seen jumping up and down on the corpse of a dead Russian, it is very sad to see that these people have sunk to such a level.

Idlib has a repotation for being something of a backwater by Syrian standards and the insurgency is strongest where people are the least sophisticated with Raqqa and Deir ez Zour other examples of this phenomenon.

The result of the incident will be increased support for the war in Russia, especially because of the  desecration the bodies of the dead, the kind of act that causes people to demand more planes drop bigger bombs upon the opposition held areas.

Syria: Footage captures burning wreckage of downed Russian helicopter

Battle of Aleppo: Cluster bomb strikes on rebel positions during their ongoing counter-offensive

Russian/Syrian air force obliterate Jihadists in south Aleppo

Google earth image with labelks attached to the key sites of the outer insurgent offensive.
Google earth image with labelks attached to the key sites of the outer insurgent offensive.
The Himat school prio to the al Nusra attack.
The al Hikmat school prior to the al Nusra attack.
The first suicide bomber detonates at the site that was being used as a military barracks.
The first suicide bomber detonates at the site that was being used as a military barracks.
The second attacker detonates ten seconds later.
An orange flash is seen to the right as the second attacker detonates ten seconds later.
This map shows the insurgent offensives to break the siege of Aleppo by attempting to punch through loyalist defenses surrounding the city of Aleppo from both inside and out. (Source)

Massive Insurgent Offensive to Break the Aleppo Siege.

The loss of the Russian helicopter and the crew is the headline that appears on the news but the really important thing event in Syria over the past days has been a massive insurgent offensive aimed at breaking the siege of the Eastern Aleppo insurgent pocket.

On July 31st, the jihadists launched a series of coordinated attacks across a wide area of the contact line in Southern Aleppo. The largest attack was to the southwest of Aleppo and this offensive started with two immense suicide vehicle bombings against a site named the al Hikmat school that had been turned into a military barracks by the Syrian Army..

Ten seconds after the first massive blast, a second vehicle was detonated and these attacks enabled the insurgent infantry and armour to over run the Syria Army defensive lines and make their way to within only kilometres of opening a new supply route into Aleppo city.

(18+) Double Terrorist Suicide VBIED in Aleppo–Aerial drone view

VBIEDs hit army barrack in southern Aleppo

Once the loyalists realised what was happening they were able to strike back and much of the territory lost on the first day has now been retrieved (it is being reported that 5 of the 8 positions lost have been retrieved) although fighting is ongoing and the situation is fluid.

Meanwhile insurgent shelling of government held Aleppo has killed 30 civilians over the past several days. (Source)

Only the Restoration of the State Will End the Syrian Nightmare.

There is no doubt that civilians are dying at the hands of all parties to the conflict. It is heartbreaking to see what the Russian and US coalition airstrikes do to the blameless people of insurgent held Syria, and if anyone really had a problem with killing civilians there would be no bombs dropped from thousands of feet above heavily populated areas.

However history makes it perfectly clear that if the jihadists win the war, that will only be the beginning of the nightmare for the people of Syria. For reference we need only look to present day Libya or even Afghanistan after the mujaheddin finally won the war in 1992,  an proceeded to embark on a new civil war as the victorious warlords squabble over the spoils of the successful campaign.

Therefore a loyalist victory, a government victory represents the only realistic hope for a viable and peaceful future for the long suffering people of Syria.

The Guardian; US military may have killed between 229 and 425 civilians in US airstrikes since 21 May in Syria

Syrian Army recaptures strategic area in Aleppo: Map Update

Syrian War Report – August 1, 2016: Jihadists Attempt to Break Aleppo Siege

Syrian War Report – August 2, 2016: Syrian Army Advancing in Aleppo City

Syrian War Report – August 3, 2016: Heavy Clashes in Aleppo City

Syrian War Report – August 4, 2016: Militant Advance Lost Momentum in Aleppo

Front Line Report | August 1st 2016 | Southeast Aleppo city

Massive jihadi offensive on Southeast Aleppo districts | July 31st 2016

Battles for Syria | Jihadi offensive part 2 | Aleppo | August 1st 2016

Battles for Syria | August 2nd 2016 | Southwest Aleppo city

Massive Strange Explosion in Southern Aleppo.

safirah-696x392
An image of an explosion in as Safira Aleppo on the night of July 16th, 2016.
Another image of the as Safira explosion.
Another image of the as Safira explosion.
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Overhead inage of the as Safira defence installations.

July 18th, 2016.

Massive Strange Explosion in Southern Aleppo.

The Syrian city of as Safira, 25kms/16 miles south of Aleppo city was struck by a series of massive explosions overnight, the blasts took place at a large Syrian military production and weapons storage centre on the outskirts of as Safira.

Massive explosion rocks Army base in southeast Aleppo

The blasts were photographed 50 kilometres away and witnesses 60 kilometres away in Azaz claimed to have felt the blasts. The blasts created a mushroom cloud and there is a strange pulsing flashing in some of the footage. Several witnesses that the blast resembled a nuclear event.

Several tactical nuclear attacks of recent years have targeted weapons storage facilities, both in Yemen last year and in Syria in 2013, the choice of these targets for small scale nuclear attack enables a high degree of plausible deniability on the part of the perpetrators.

It remains unclear what has taken place in as Safira but whatever the origin there appears to have been a nuclear explosion and the unbelievably idiotic story promoted by certain pond life level propagandists that a helicopter carrying “tonnes” of explosives crashed and caused the explosion rather gives the game away.

It is highly unlikely that an aircraft could have delivered a missile to this site deep inland without being detected but a missile fired from a submarine or some other platform is entirely possible.

Initial images of the explosions in the defense plants in the city of as Safir.


Explosions in the defense plants as Safira

Dramatic footage of explosions at Syrian defence factory

Other Examples.

In the past several months the Russian Air force have unleashed a number of horrific new weapons on the jihadists of northern Syria.

There have been some very strange explosions caused by the Russian Air force during that time and this attack, from April again on an ammunition dump, in this case belonging to al Nusra in southern Aleppo is very, very reminiscent of a nuclear blast.

Russian airstrike targets ammo depot for al-Nusra in South Aleppo

This year, Saudi Arabia through proxies informed the world of their possession of nuclear weapons This was already an open secret as in 2015 Saudi Arabian air attacks on Yemen were unmistakable small nuclear explosions.

Saudi Arabia Tactical Nuclear Strike on Yemen (Neutron Bomb)

In 2013 Israel made it even more obvious when they attacked a Syrian military research site near Damascus at night when the unique character of the explosions are far easier to identify.

Israeli Nuclear Attack on Syria, All Known Footage

The Syrian Arab Army and their allies this week. on the Castillo road that is a ring around the north of Aleppo city
The Syrian Arab Army and their allies this week. on the Castillo road that is a ring around the north of Aleppo city
Capture1
Map highlights the Castillo highway that is the only road link between the insurgents in Eastern Aleppo city and the outer world.
Map of the Northern Aleppo battlefield shows the Syrian Army in control of a section of the al Castillo highway and also that the Syrian Army and their allies are very close to achieving a complete encirclement of the Aleppo insurgent pocket. (Source)

The Context of the War the SAA Cut the Castillo Highway.

Despite the Russian intervention the war is still a grinding battle of attrition however this week the Syrian military and their allies managed to cut the Castillo highway that runs in a semi circle north of Aleppo city. The achievement came after weeks of heavy fighting and terrible casualties on all sides.

The Castillo highway was the sole supply route for the rebel fighters who control eastern Aleppo city. The closure of the road has seen a series of frantic rebel counterattacks in order to reopen the road but these attempts have failed and at such a cost that one of the major factions Ahrar al Sham (Free men of Syria) have stated they will not send any more fighters to participate in what they see as a suicidal effort to reopen the essential supply line.

Russian jets swarm northern Aleppo as jihadists attempt to retake Castillo Highway

Pictures have now emerged of the Syrian Army on the road but the fierceness of the fighting was such that the initial goal was not to take the road but to take positions with artillery ranged upon the road making it impossible for the insurgents to use it. The Syrians achieved this from two separate areas and this is the vital thing.

Aleppo rebels trapped as Syrian Army cuts off main supply route

Hell Awaits the Serial Liars Along with their Death Squad Mercenaries.

You can always tell things are going badly for the jihadists because that is when the war party and their proxies begin complaining about human rights and expressing concern about human suffering.

When the pet maniacs they are still psychotically pretending are freedom fighters run amok and enter a village and commit mass murder, these unprincipled and morally bankrupt propagandists have not a word to say about it. It is good news to them, their “lads” are winning.

Al-Zara’s Massacre: the Syrian villagers were slaughtered by Ahrar Al-Sham’s mercenary-terrorists

Syrian villagers describe massacre by militant group spared from UN terror blacklist

Islamist rebels brag about Zara massacre

Syria: Twenty killed after al-Nusra Front shell Aleppo *GRAPHIC*

US backed AlQaeda linked rebels Massacre Civilians in #Syria

Only when their pet death squads are facing collapse to they trot out the familiar pathetic mantras about barrel bombs and feign concern for the civilians who have suffered so terribly in the war they have supported and promoted relentlessly for half a decade.

All of the people in the Western media, all of the people in the think tanks who previously supported the Iraq war and the destruction of Libya but remain impervious to the human cost of the propaganda they present and who still shamelessly pretend the bloodthirsty jihadist death squads of the empire are freedom fighters will burn in hell until the end of time if there is a scintilla of divine justice in this universe.

Hezbollah Commander Killed in Syria.

Family members in Beirut mourn the death of senior Hezbollah figure Mustafa Badredinne who was killed by an Israeli Airstrike near Damascus yesterday.
Family members in Beirut mourn the death of senior Hezbollah figure Mustafa Badredinne who was killed by an Israeli Airstrike near Damascus yesterday. (Source)

Updated May 14th, 2016.

Hezbollah Claim Badredinne Died in Insurgent Artillery Strike.

Hezbollah are now claiming that the death of Mustafa Badredinne was caused by insurgent artillery.

Hezbollah’s Investigations: Takfiri Artillery Shelling Killed Martyr Badreddine

This claim may be correct or it may be the expedient explanation at the current time. The artillery attribution does not fit with the witness reports of a single large explosion rather than a description of a barrage as would generally be the case with artillery.

It is also puzzling that there were reports from a previously reliable source of an Israeli airstrike against a Hezbollah target in Syria before Mustafa Badredinne’s death was announced so I reserve judgement and assume the truth will emerge in the future but while it is theoretically possible, the chances of the Hezbollah commander in Syria, operating away from front line positions being randomly killed in a lucky artillery strike seem highly remote.

May 13th, 2016.

Hezbollah Commander Slain in Alleged Israeli Airstrike near Damascus.

In a devastating psychological blow to the forces allied with the Syrian Government an Israeli airstrike in the area near the Damascus International Airport has killed Mustafa Badreddine, a senior figure in Hezbollah, the Lebanese (largely) Shia militia fighting alongside the Syrian government forces in the Syrian war. Badreddine is said to have been 55 years of age and to be brother in law of the legendary and infamous Hezbollah figure Imad Mugniyah, also assassinated in Damascus under very different circumstances in 2008.

Mustafa Badredinne is claimed to have been commander of Hezbollah in Syria where the group have played a key role in support of the Government since 2012..

Leading Hezbollah commander killed by Israeli military

Top Hezbollah Commander Mustafa Amine Badreddine Killed in Syria

The details of the attack are still unclear with some reports mentioning a large explosion without specifying the means of delivery but all logic suggests that an air attack was conducted by the Israeli Air force as that has been the previous method of the dozen or more similar Israeli attacks against the Syrian Government forces with the May 2013 alleged tactical nuclear strike the most memorable.

Israeli Nuclear Attack on Syria, All Known Footage

In addition to air support Israel supported the jihadist insurgents in Syria with medical care along with equipment and logistical support and the support to the proscribed al Nusra Front terror group was noted in UN reports on the situation in southern Syria.

Israeli Support of al Qaeda is a Violation of International Law.

Israeli attacks on Syrian allied forces have continued despite the entrance of the Russian superpower on the loyalist side late last year and the continued presence of the highly effective S400 anti-aircraft missile systems at the Russian base in Syria so it can only be assumed that Russia and Israel have some type of agreement to allow Israeli strikes inside Syria to continue.

Syria: S-400 now deployed in Latakia to boost air defence

Such a deal would be understandable from a pragmatic point of view but are inexplicable in others. Why is Russia apparently conducting air defence stand downs and enabling the ground forces they are backing to be attacked?

Retaliatory Response?

These attacks are very dangerous because they risk provoking a response that could lead to an escalation and within hours this process could lead to an Israeli war against Lebanon as a minor Hezbollah provocation did in July 2006.

A month later more than a thousand Lebanese and forty three Israeli civilians, along with around two hundred Hezbollah fighters and 120 IDF soldiers were dead.

Several of the previous Israeli airstrikes have provoked retaliatory strikes on Hezbollah’s behalf. In January 2015 several IDF soldiers were killed and several vehicles were destroyed in rocket attacks on them in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights region of Syria following Israeli airstrikes that killed several Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian Revolutionary Guard General..

The last high-profile attack last December that killed Hezbollah figure Samir Quntar was met with a very half hearted response from Hezbollah with an I.E.D attack on an Israeli border patrol reportedly damaging several vehicles without causing any casualties.

The same will presumably be the case on this occasion. Any kind of war with Israel is completely against the interests of Hezbollah and their allies so they may do something in response but will  probably have to accept the attack on Mustafa Badredinne along with all their other casualties in Syria which have been severe despite the fact that they are generally a dominant force on the battlefield.

One of the most spectacular examples of that tactical superiority came in early 2014 with the Otaida ambush, an amazing operation where a long column of insurgents were blown up after walking into an elaborate trap involving several massive bomb attacks on them as they walked through the countryside south of Damascus at night. It should be noted that the massively successful and brilliant operations like the Otaida ambush are the exception to the rule in a grinding war.

Syrian Army Kills Scores of Militants in Ambush

Syrian Army KILLS 175 Rebels in Ambush – DEAD BODIES Everywhere

No End in Sight to the Syrian Nightmare.

This latest coup on the part of the forces attempting to  destroy Syria caps off a terrible period for the Syrian government forces over the past several weeks where the insurgents have won some victories, seizing the southern Aleppo town of Khan Touman and more importantly repeatedly demonstrating their ability to harass the loyalist forces and cause them to redeploy their best forces in response.

Battles for Syria | May 6th 2016 | Militants capture Khan Tuman

The detonation of a tunnel bomb under a Syrian military facility at the Aleppo front-line recently was another devastating blow against the loyalist forces leaving a reported 46 soldiers dead.

New tunnel bomb footage from Aleppo

Return from the dead | May 4th 2016

By concentrating their attacks against the weakest of the loyalist forces in rear areas the insurgents are thus able to steer the army around the battlefield meaning that the government forces are often seemingly stamping out one spot fire after another and thus the war is a near stalemate despite the continued presence of the Russian Airforce and an increasing Russian ground presence that saw another soldier killed by the insurgents this week.

A Grim Outlook.

For several weeks it almost seemed that the Cessation of Hostilities agreement was working, the level of the fighting and the areas impacted were greatly reduced with one large Syrian military hospital reporting a halving of the casualty rate but that was seemingly  just a lull as the insurgents rearmed and reinforced their forces and now the cease fires all blend together in near meaninglessness as few parties to the fighting pay them any attention.

These events perhaps indicate that the anti-Syria coalition can see the light at the end of the tunnel, they are hoping that the next US administration will “do the right thing” as Obama failed to do and destroy Syria as Libya and Iraq were destroyed. Destroy the state and walk away and let the jihadists fight over the ruins.

If Hillary Clinton is elected President business as usual can be expected to resume with the final destruction of Syria an urgent priority and Herr Clinton has already indicted her support for a No-Fly Zone in Northern Syria, a step that would both contravene international law and risk nuclear war with Russia.

Hillary Clinton’s Insane Plan for a No-fly Zone | Al Jazeera America

There are strong signs that neither side can contemplate military victory in Syria therefore the choices are to either find a political solution or allow the terrible suffering on all sides to continue while another few hundred thousand people are killed and the indifference of the opposition supporting politicians such as the Saudi, Turkish leadership to the fact that they are the authors of this mountain of suffering is remarkable.

Lebanon: Hundreds mourn loss of top Hezbollah commander

Top Hezbollah chief buried, Israel suspected in his dea

Iran Signals Implicit Support for Assad Departure.

A poster of Syrian President Bashar al Assad agaisnt the desolation of war torn Syria. Image belongs to Getty Images.
A poster of Syrian President Bashar al Assad against the desolation of war-torn Syria. Image belongs to Getty Images. Joseph Eid took the photo.

April 26th, 2016.

Iran Signals Implicit Support for Assad Departure.

In a break from their long-held position, it appears that Iran is open to a deal that would see the Syrian President Bashar al Assad leave Syria as part of a formula to end the five-year Syrian war with a death toll  now estimated at 400,000.

Syria death toll likely as high as 400,000: UN envoy | Middle East Eye

This information emerged in a Press TV story posted on their you tube channel yesterday.

“Syria president rejected offer for resettlement in Iran”

This story, which must be taken seriously given the source, indicates that Iran is now willing to countenance Assad’s departure, after all, Iran could not have offered Assad refuge if they disagreed with his leaving.

As recently as April 10th senior Iranian spokesmen have stated that there would be no negotiation over the future of the Syrian President.

Syria War Update: Bashar Assad Removal Is ‘Red Line,’ Iranian Official Says

Iran official: Assad removal from Syria a ‘red line’ | The Times of Israel

This position, shared publicly by the Syrian government appears to have been one reason that the Geneva peace talks have never achieved anything so the apparent change in the Iranian position seems to indicate a broadening consensus that it may be in the best interests of Syria for a government of national unity to be formed without the President.

Betrayal?

Elements of the Iranian military and the Iran proxy Hezbollah have been involved in heavy combat in Syria and have taken severe casualties, judging by the funerals.

Many have stated correctly that it should be up to the Syrian people to decide Assad’s fate and many will see the shift in the Iranian position as a sell out and a betrayal, caving in to the demand for regime change after all this time.

Regime Change.

My understanding, is that when the Neoconservative chorus calls for regime change, this is merely a means to an end. The real goal is the destruction of the target state and the call for regime change is a ruse that is used as a vehicle to achieve this more sinister long-term goal.

The point is to demand the impossible and achieve the secondary goal on the back of the initial deliberately unrealistic demand for the leader to pack up and leave because Washington DC said so.

All of the war hype is focused on the “brutal dictator” and the idea that only if this one individual could be removed from power everything would be alright, childish nonsense in its own right but the real goal is the destruction of these states along the lines envisaged soon after 911 by the wonderfully malevolent Neoconservative US  official Paul Wolfowitz.

Before the onslaught in Iraq began in March 2003 the US President delivered an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein and his sons, “Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict.”  The US military would be entering Iraq even if Saddam chose to leave but:

“It is not too late for the Iraqi military to act with honor and protect your country by permitting the peaceful entry of coalition forces to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Our forces will give Iraqi military units clear instructions on actions they can take to avoid being attacked and destroyed. I urge every member of the Iraqi military and intelligence services, if war comes, do not fight for a dying regime that is not worth your own life. “

When the US invaded Iraq the Iraqi military largely followed Bush’s advice and the invasion force was thus met with only limited resistance from loyalist political units while the bulk of the army stood down.

The Iraqi Government fell within weeks of the invasion as a result of this decision yet by May 2003 Paul Bremer, the ranking US civilian official in Iraq decided to disband the Iraqi Army.  This decision, Coalition Provisional Authority order number 2  was the cause of Iraq’s destruction as a nation-state and all the horror that followed until the present day.

So the Neoconservative goal is to destroy Syria entirely, the demand for Assad to leave is simply the impossible demand that masks the deeper goal. The same was true in Libya.

Conclusion.

If Assad’s departure is part of a process of forming a genuine government of national unity and thus ending the war and preserving the state this may be a worthy deal. It seems wrong that the authors of so much misery and destruction should be rewarded for their efforts but the first priority must be the preservation of life and the second the state.  Such is the chaos in Syria and the strength of the extremists of Al Nusra and ISIS that it is likely the insurgency will continue on its bloody way for several years even if there is a political deal and some type of unity government is formed.

The fate of Bashar al Assad is incidental when compared to the suffering and instability caused by the war and if Assad chose to leave his fate would be a far happier one than befell Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.

Syrian Pilot Captured After Jet Downed in Aleppo Countryside.

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Video still shows the moment the Syrian Su22 jet struck the ground near al Eis in southern Aleppo yesterday.
The Syrian Air force SU22 burns as it falls to the earth.
The Syrian Air force SU22 burns as it falls to the earth.
Flattened Su22 lies in the fields of Aleppo yesterday.
Flattened Su22 lies in the fields of Aleppo yesterday.
Tela al Eis marked on Google earth.
Tela al Eis marked on Google earth.

Updated, April 9th, 2016

al Nusra Front claim the SU22 was shot down with a ZPU anti-aircraft heavy machine gun.

Orient News (better known as Al Nusra television) have conducted an interview with one of the fighters involved with the downing of the Syrian jet this week. The masked al Nusra fighter claimed that the jet was struck by a 14.5 anti-aircraft gun.  The fighter is referring to a weapons system popularly known as the ZPU which consists of either two or four machine KPV heavy machine guns, often mounted on the back of vehicles. It is classed as anti-aircraft artillery. These weapons are very common in Syria.

Orient News interviews the man who shot Assad jet down in Aleppo southern countryside

There is no way to confirm these claims but they fit with the known facts and make sense. Hilariously Orient News tried to claim that the warplane was bombing civilians, yet the al Nusra fighters boast completely refutes this pathetic propaganda claim because if the claims are correct the proscribed terror group were operating heavy weapons in the area, the shootdown and the Nusra claim make it clear there were legitimate military targets in al Eis this week.

A typical ZPU anti-aircraft heavy machine gun with the KPV heavy machine guns mounted on the back of a vehicle. The4se come in two and four gun varieties, this is a two gun example.
A typical ZPU anti-aircraft heavy machine gun with the KPV heavy machine guns mounted on the back of a vehicle. The4se come in two and four gun varieties, this is a two gun example.
A typical ZPU anti-aircraft heavy machine gun with the four KPV heavy machine guns mounted on the back of a vehicle.
KPV heavy machine guns mounted on the back of a vehicle in Syria.

April 6th, 2016.

Syrian Jet Downed in Aleppo-Pilot Captured.

A Syrian Air force Sukhoi Su22 jet has been shot down in southern Aleppo in the vicinity of the town of al Eis and the pilot has been captured by the jihadists of the al Nusra Front.   Tel al Eis has been the site of heavy fighting in recent days after insurgents launched a major offensive in southern Aleppo that saw them seize control of the small southern Aleppo village that government forces seized from the insurgents last November as part of their  Aleppo offensive.

The downing of the Su22 is the second Syrian Air Force jet lost in the past several weeks, in mid-March a MIG 21 was downed in Hama province, one pilot ejected but another died after unsuccessfully attempting to land the damaged jet. The cause of the SU22 downing is unclear but the MIG21 appeared to have been attacked with a portable SAM missile or MANPAD.

There is speculation that these jets may have been downed by new surface to air missiles provided to the insurgents by their sponsors however an examination of the history of the Syrian war shows that these latest incidents do not represent a significant departure from what has taken pace throughout the war.

List of aviation shootdowns and accidents during the Syrian Civil War – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Possible Implications.

According to the highly respected US journalist Gareth Porter the current partial ceasefire in Syria was due to a secret deal between the US and Russia. Under the purported deal Russia would restrict their bombing attacks to al Nusra and ISIS and in return the US woulkd convince their allies in Saudi Arabia and Turkey to completely stem the flow of weapons to the rebels.

Cutting Off Syrian Rebels’ Weapons – Consortiumnews

Events on the ground over recent weeks have supported the claims made by Gareth Porter;there has been a dramatic decrease for example in the use of anti tank guided missiles by the insurgents recently, with the dreaded TOW missiles –one of the major offensive weapons in the insurgents- all but disappearing from the battlefield in recent months.

Until the cause of the SU22 shoot down is ascertained specualtion is premature but if an entity or a state have been providing the likes of Jabhat al Nusra with surface to air missiles that could scuttle that deal and see a renewed escalation of the Russian role in the war.

In all likelihood iin this case the insurgents  got lucky on the back of a careless pilot but these are worrying signs that the nightmarish Syrian war may be nowhere near conclusion.

Syria War 2016 – Syrian Su-22 Fighter Jet Shot Down By Al-Nusra Front South Of Aleppo

SYRIA Militants shot down the Su-22 Chronicle of events

International Military Review – Syria, Apr. 6, 2016

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The name of the captured pilot has not been released yet, here the man, said to be a 52 year old Colonel is shown after capture.
The name of the captured pilot has not been released yet, here the man, said to be a 52 year old Colonel is shown after capture.

The Liberation of Palmyra

The Palmyra Citadel.
The Palmyra Citadel.
The Palmyra Amphitheater.
The Palmyra Amphitheater.
Life news still of ancient Palmyra.
Life news still of ancient Palmyra this week.
The Syrian Army, liberators of Palmyra, defenders of civilisation.
The Syrian Army, liberators of Palmyra, defenders of civilisation.

March 31st, 2016.

The Liberation of Palmyra.

Civilisation triumphs over the forces of nihilism, chaos and destruction.

The US Air force stood, watched and did nothing in May 2015 as the city of Palmyra fell to  ISIS.

Ten months later and Russia has emerged as the defender of civilisation in Syria and nothing makes this clearer than the liberation of Palmyra.

While the US was perfectly happy to stand back and watch Syria being looted and pillaged by the forces of chaos and mayhem, Russia sent her soldiers  to fight and die in the fight against them and they have succeeded.

It was an extremely difficult and costly operation and only a week ago ISIS appeared to have the upper hand in the fighting around Palmyra the short video below shows a Russian journalist embedded with the Syrian Army under a hail of fire, pinned down and trapped as ISIS fighters rain accurate fire down on the Syrians from an elevated position. The trapped soldiers had to wait for nightfall to be able to move.

SYRIA Russian journalists under fire by ISIS

This video from Life news of Russia gives some insight into the intense fighting that took place in and around Palmyra this week.

Russian Life News Report Frontline Palmyra Coverage

The Battle of Palmyra: The Syrian assault on ISIS inside the city

While ISIS clearly made a tactical decision to withdraw from Palmyra and Tadmur this week, the group are still present in the area, still well armed and still capable of mounting successful small-scale attacks.

Russia Defense Report: The Hero of Palmyra

Still from an ISIS video shot on March 27th, the destruction of a Syrian Army tank with a rocket in the vicinity of Palmyra. (Source)
Still from an ISIS video shot on March 27th, the destruction of a Syrian Army tank with a rocket on Mount Tar north of  of Palmyra. (Source)
Still from an ISIS video shot on March 27th, the destruction of a Syrian Army tank with a rocket in the vicinity of Palmyra. (Source)
Still from an ISIS video shot on March 27th, the destruction of a Syrian Army tank with a rocket in the vicinity of Palmyra. (Source)
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Still from an ISIS video shot on March 27th, the destruction of a Syrian Army tank with a rocket north of Palmyra. (Source)

The Western “Response.”

Reporting on the liberation of Palmyra, the BBC World Service were reduced to offering the pitiful “many blame the Syrian Government for allowing the city to fall.”

It is worth remembering that fewer than two years ago the Western elite and their pet media were trying to present the Russian President, with a straight face, as the new Hitler.

This now laughable idea was actually a very popular meme throughout 2014 being voiced by Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton, the British Prime Minister and the next in line to the British throne, among many others.

The hollow men and woman of the Western media supported these fallacious pronouncements as they do everything, with mindless enthusiasm and transparent sophistry.

The southern outpost of the Mighty Wurlitzer took to the task with shameless relish.

Hillary Clinton’s comparison of Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler checks out – Fact Check – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

So these latest developments are another self-inflicted moment of acute humiliation for the self appointed masters of the universe.

In this light the muted, sulking and whining response to the Russian operation in Syria and the Palmyra triumph make perfect sense.

The past two years have been among other things one long festival of humiliation for the Neoconservative Western elite, much of it at the hands of the Russian President. This must be a difficult moment for them.

In the Daily Beast they were still droning and whining about moderate rebels, in an unintentionally comedic piece written in the parallel universe of the Western propagandist where al Qaeda are moderate democrats!

Putin and Assad Score a Major Victory Against ISIS, After Hitting Syrian Rebels for Months – The Daily Beast

To describe the al Nusra Front are a terror group is a simple statement of fact. This is their legal status as designated by the UN along with their parent organisation al Qaeda.

al Nusra front deserve the designation having conducted terror attacks that target civilians in both Syria and Lebanon where the “plucky moderates” sent a suicide bomber to commit murder in a Tripoli cafe in late 2014.

Nusra Front claims Lebanon suicide attack – Al Jazeera English

They have massacred numerous groups from whom they differ including Shia, Christian and Druze. They have desecrated Christian churches, they have conducted chemical weapons attacks against both military and civilian targets. The only meaningful ideological difference they have with ISIS is that they believe in building an Islamic State in Syria after the war ISIS have tried and failed to do so during the war.

Any “journalist” who attempts to portray the Syrian opposition other than ISIS as being moderate is either a brazen liar and fraudster or simply a tool who deserves to the same contempt they have for their audience.

Al Nusra are the pivot group of the entire Syrian insurgency, throughout the war they have been allied with militant factions across the board and were the core and spearhead of the Army of Conquest coalition that swept through north-western Syria in 2015 seizing the province of Idlib.  Jabhat al Nusra have maintained alliances with the supposed moderates of the Free Syrian Army throughout the entire war.

FSA, Jabhat a-Nusra ally in north Homs ahead of expected Russian-backed offensive – Syria Direct

Syria: Drone shows ancient Palmyra relics following end of IS siege

Inside Old Palmyra: Exclusive access to ancient relics after ISIS flees

This image shows the relationship between Palmyra, Der ez Zour and Raqqa in Syria's east.
This image shows the relationship between Palmyra, Der ez Zour and Raqqa in Syria’s east.

The Road Ahead.

The Syrian Army are in the process of de-mining Palmyra, removing the hundreds of bombs and booby traps placed by the guerrillas, other units have fanned out in several directions and although clashes continue in the Palmyra area it is expected that the Syrian Army and their allies will soon  begin to move further north-east as they follow the M7 highway towards Der ez Zour.

Der ez Zour is 200kms away through a desert of sparse villages. If ISIS choose to mount guerrilla raids on the advancing forces it may take them months to advance across the desert.

On the other hand if the group withdraw the Syrian Army could be fighting to break the siege of Der ez Zour within weeks. If recent history is any guide it will be many months.

Palmyra victory has Syrian Army set to break ISIS siege on Deir Ezzor

If the Syrian Army manage to cross the desert and link up with the forces besieged in Der ez Zour, the current episode of the Caliphate project will be over. The forces in Syria will be reduced to operating in small isolated pockets of territory.

Amidst the deafening silence, the obfuscation and barefaced lies, Robert Fisk of the Independent stood out as one Western journalist willing to state the truth about Palmyra and the West.

Why is David Cameron so silent on the recapture of Palmyra from the clutches of Isis?

“So in the end, it was the Syrian army and its Hezbollah chums from Lebanon and the Iranians and the Russians who drove the Isis murderers out of Palmyra, and who may – heavens preserve us from such a success – even storm the Isis Syrian ‘capital’ of Raqqa. I have written many times that the Syrian army will decide the future of Syria. If they grab back Raqqa – and Deir el-Zour, where the Nusrah front destroyed the church of the Armenian genocide and threw the bones of the long-dead 1915 Christian victims into the streets – I promise you we will be silent again.”

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South Front still shows the relationship between Palmyra and Der ez Zour to the east and indicates the likely trajectory of the Syrian operation in the near future.
ISIS in the Palmyra amphitheater about to stage a mass execution.
ISIS in the Palmyra amphitheater about to stage a mass execution.
The Syrian Army burns the flag of ISIS after the liberation of Palmyra.
The Syrian Army burns the flag of ISIS after the liberation of Palmyra.