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Syrian War Report – Dec. 19, 2018: Russian Private Military Contractor Killed In New Round Of Escalation In Northern Latakia

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A former servicemen of the Russian Airborne Troops, Aleksandr Dudchenko, has been killed by a mortar shelling in northern Latakia, according to reports in Russian media outlets.

The incident reportedly took place near the town of Kinsaba, where Dudchenko came under fire from the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL). Local sources say that he was among Russian private military contractors that operate in the country.

During the past few weeks, the NFL, other pro-Turkish militant groups as well as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) and its allies violated the ceasefire regime in the Idlib de-escalation zone multiple times. On some parts of the contact line, such as northern Hama, they even carried out limited ground attacks, which were repelled.

At the same time, local activists say that Turkish servicemen in cooperation with members of militant groups prevent civilians from leaving the Idlib zone through the existing humanitarian corridor under various pretexts.

These developments are another strong signal that the militancy problem in western Syria cannot be solved by peaceful means alone. In the nearest future, Idlib militants will continue their attacks on positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) hiding behind the so-called ceasefire regime and accusing the SAA of violations every time government forces respond to these attacks.

On December 19, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino officially denied that US President Donald Trump had given a “green light” to a Turkish military operation against Kurdish armed groups east of the Euphrates. According to Palladino, the December 17 remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were a misstatement.

Meanwhile, the State Department notified Congress of a proposal to sell the Patriot air and missile defense system to Turkey. The potential $3.5 billion deal, which includes 20 missile launchers, is something Turkey had been seeking for a long time before deciding to buy a Russian-made S-400 system. This US move is a part of the ongoing behind the doors bargain between the Trump administration and the Erdogan government on the conflict in Syria and the Turkish stance on Russian and Iranian actions in the region in general.

Iraqi President Barham Salih will make an official visit to Damascus in the next few days for the first time since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, an Iraqi diplomatic source told the Russian state-run news agency Sputnik on December 18. This visit follows the visit of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to Damascus on December 17. Al-Bashir became the first Arab leader to travel to Syria since the start of the war. These diplomatic developments show that despite the still complicated situation in the country, Damascus is steadily improving its diplomatic stand in the region.

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  • Gregory Casey

    Contrary to what Palladino said rumours just dripping out of Washington Wednesday morning that US Military + FUKUS are withdrawing from NE Syria !!! Deal done between Turkey & Washington.In other words, #Kurds have been dropped by FUKUS and Turkey together with its jihadi proxies can now attack Kurdish Forces East of Euphrates ……… probably explains why Peshmerga were moved in to NE Syria from N Iraq over past few days having been warned in advance of the entirely dishonourable intentions of America. Kurds now have a choice to make: fight it out against the Turks & their Salafist friends OR enter an Alliance with Syrian Army and with Damascus.

    • Brother Ma

      So Kurds have been dumped again. Can’t say i am sorry. They have been stupid cutthroats all the ages. Cutthroats because they are butchering brutes and stupid because they never could choose the right friends. Haha

      I am only sorry because it means that Turkey now will invade and steal even more parts of Syria.

      • Gregory Casey

        Apparently, Russian Forces together with SAA and Iranian Forces are rushing into NE Syria and East Bank of EUphrates to buttress Defences against any Turkish activity andor incursions.

        • Brother Ma

          More power to the Russosyrians but when? Is it happening as we speak?

          • Gregory Casey

            Apparently so.

        • Brother Ma

          Bravo Gregory! You were right.

      • Gregory Casey

        Reports that Russian, Syrian & Iranian Forces are rushing into NE Syria to support and buttress YPG/Kurds and to take control and ensure that Turks do NOT cross the Border.

        • RichardD

          Can you provide links?

  • Gregory Casey

    According to @jimsciutto CNN
    Breaking: Planning is underway for a “full” and “rapid” withdrawal of US troops from Syria, decision made by President Trump, a US defense official tells @barbarastarrcnn

    1:42 PM – 19 Dec 2018

    • neil barron

      cnn are you kidding me! your using cnn the king of fake news get real. Find a legit source.

      • Gregory Casey

        Since I posted that the State Departments and White House have confirmed immediate withdrawal of US Forces.

  • Harsha

    Turkey is one and only reason to delaying Idlib op.

  • alejoeisabel

    Kurds have two choices
    remains as brothers within a multi cultural and confessional Syria or become a vassal of Israel sticking a Zionist knife in their brothers back.

    • xyz

      Sadly, they have already sold themselves to the Zio entity

  • RichardD

    The US withdrawal, if initial reports are correct, which they appear to be, is a HUGE game changer. There is an opportunity to wrap up the Syria war with a minimum of further hostilities. The Syrian government coalition’s push east to liberate Dier Ezzor followed by clearing the Damascus area and Israeli border was a real eye opener to Jew world order miscreants orchestrating the conflict as their terrorist proxies were roundly routed lock, stock, and barrel by the Syrian government coalition.

    This also opens the door for standing up a UN mandated regional force armed with nuclear weapons to resolve the Israel and Jew problem in the middle east. By clearing the IDF out of the occuppied territories and policing the implementation 70 years worth of Israeli scofflaw violations of UN resolutions and international law.