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Syrian War Report – Jan. 30, 2019: Intense Clashes, Artillery Duels Erupt In Idlib De-Militarized Zone

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Syrian War Report – Jan. 30, 2019: Intense Clashes, Artillery Duels Erupt In Idlib De-Militarized Zone

The situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone is slowly escalating with an increased number of artillery duels and clashes between pro-government fighters and militants taking place there on a daily basis.

On January 29, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) and Jaysh al-Izza reportedly attacked positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the villages of Maan and Atshan in northern Hama. The SAA responded by shelling the areas of Tamanah, Tal Teri, Tal Suayk, Suayk, Morek and Tal Huwayr. Early on January 30, artillery strikes were also reported near the militant-held villages of al-Tah and al-Lataminah. Both sides are accused of using heavy artillery and grad rockets, openly showing that the de-militarization zone agreed by Turkey and Russia has not in fact been established in the area.

The situation is also tense in northern Lattakia and western Aleppo, but the daily intensity of strikes there is lower.

Recently, a new group of SAA troops arrived in the area of Abu al-Duhur Airport. According to the Russian military, on January 22, up to 200 Hayat Tahrir al-Sham members attacked SAA positions in the area, but this advance was repelled.

The political leadership of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and thus the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued their PR efforts to rescue themselves from the political and security dead end, in which they appeared to fiind themselves after the US announcement of troops withdrawal.

So far, YPG, SDF representatives have already claimed that:

  • They invite Damascus to their areas;
  • They do not invite Damascus to enter Manbij;
  • They are negotiating with Damascus;
  • They are not negotiating with Damascus;
  • They are ready to find “an understanding” with Turkey;
  • They’ve provided Russia and Damascus with a list of demands for negotiations;

On January 29, Ilham Ahmed, the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, a formal political body of the SDF, claimed that there are no signs of the US troops withdrawal from Syria saying that the situation is “just like before” Trump’s announcement.

On January 28, Syria and Iran signed 11 deals and memoranda of understanding covering fields including the economy, culture, education, infrastructure, investment and housing. They were signed during a visit to Damascus by Iran’s First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri. The gorwing Syrian-Iranian cooperation shows that the US-Israeli bloc key goal – to push Iran out of Syria – is something unlikely even theoretically.

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  • gustavo

    Russia-Turkey agreement on Idlib has been a wonderful agreement for terrorists and Turkey, is there any doubt ?

    • Ma_Laoshi

      Yup, is Moscow so desperate for energy deals with Turkey that we’re supposed to forget that Idlib is currently held by al-Qaeda — the very type of group Putin pledged to eradicate at the start of the Syria mission. Oh and al-Qaeda wasn’t even a signatory to this de-escalation deal. And they’re being paid to fight, not to de-escalate.

      Many of these moderates had previously been defeated in other theaters, only to be given a new lease of life in green-bus deals. Yes their heavy weapons were taken away; if they got their hands on them the first (2nd, 3rd…) time, it cannot be a surprise that “someone” will re-arm them once more.

      If the loyalists like the extra target practice of doing it this way, then fine I guess. But for the sake of Syria and ultimately Russia itself, you have to finish the job.

      • But not with Putin, who is in one bed with Netanyahu – Jew, Medvedev – Jew and Lavrov – half Jew. Sorry. It is time for somebody with balls to speak up against Putin, his cult of personality, greed and growing incompetence.

        • Ma_Laoshi

          Well the Moscow MoD did just what you asked in September, and saw to it that Syria actually got much-needed air defenses. But the Kremlin pushback started quickly, and seems to have prevailed: by now, the rhetoric has reverted to “protecting Russians” and “adequate Israeli warning”, and we all know that that means that the Izzies bomb as they please while the humiliated Teddybear looks away.

          In all fairness and as you write below yourself, Turkey is as malicious an actor as the Light Unto the Nations, and as much appeased by Russia. So while the J factor plays a real role, it’s not everything; there seems to be something essentially Russian about all this.

          • Air defense ? LOL. Putin forbidden any attack on Israeli targets and Israel is attacking Syria and particularly Damascus as he did before IL 20 downing.
            It was just empty gesture from Putin to put S300 to Syria, which were by the way agreed and paid many years before..

    • Gabriel Hollows

      It won’t last. Turkey cannot control Al-Qaeda. Damascus cannot control Al-Qaeda. They’re a band of screaming retards with guns, you can’t negotiate with screaming retards with guns.

      You put them down like the vermin they are.

    • yes and I was telling this from the begining, some 3 months ago. You can find my posts easily.

    • jako

      Obviously not for you.
      If you only could you would give yourself medal for perspicacity huh?
      So you are calling Iran, Assad and Hezbollah a bunch of patsies?!
      You think they are there for decoration purposes only ?
      You think their soldiers were dying for nothing just to please Putin and Erdogan?

      But there is luckily dork like you to open their eyes isn’t it?

  • As I stated before, there is not any DEESCALATION or DEMILITARIZED zone in Idlib.
    It is may be a wet dream of Putin-Lavrov idiots but not a reality.
    In reality, Russia allowed GENOCIDE of Christianity in Idlib because of GREED and DIRTY DEALS with wannabe Hitler Erdogan.
    You never never ever want to make deals with traitors, war criminals and wicked person like Erdogan, otherwise you are on the same level.
    So my point is, that Putin screwed it up and now he has a ‘problem’.
    And it is a huge problem that could be easily prevented by not allowing ISIS to withdraw to Idlib.
    Now they are doing dirty job for Erdogan, killing civilians and attacking SAA and are even threat for Alleppo, which was liberated with countless casualties.
    STUPID PUTIN, shame on you !!!!

    • And by the way, Putin-Lavrov screwed it up in Venezuela as well, let Maduro to be overthrown.
      The same mistake that they made in Ukraine, let overthrow Janukovich.
      Stupid, stupid Putin-Lavrov.

      • Ma_Laoshi

        Well I share many of your frustrations, but in all fairness Maduro hasn’t been overthrown yet: that is just Washington make-believe. And let’s not write in a way that robs Venezuelans of all their own agency. I happen to like it that the RF is not the USSR any more, and they’re not taking over their allies wholesale and backing them to the hilt, whether those allies are competent or not.

        Similarly, Idlib is a big mess, but it’s not quite the case that Putin simply bowed to Erdogan; he bowed to Erdogan after the US Navy backed him up–big difference. I’d have loved to see Putin tell the “Global Force for Good” to sod off and stay out of it. But VVP just isn’t that kind of figure, for better or for worse.

        • Maduro is finished. Russia will not dare military intervention against Maidan ongoing in Venezuela. They will just empty talk, give West some ‘warnings’ and ‘advice’ and that’s all. We all know Lavrov – half Jew and his ‘politics’ of endless retreat.