Syrian War Report – March 7, 2018: Eastern Ghouta Battle And “Chemical Attacks”

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The administration of US President Donald Trump is once again considering new “military action” against the Syrian government, the Washington Post reported on March 5 citing unnamed officials.

According to the newspaper, President Trump, Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met last week to discuss new strikes in response to what they call chemical weapons attacks by government forces in Eastern Ghouta.

On February 25, activists and media linked to militant groups operating in Eastern Ghouta claimed that Damascus had used chlorine gas in the militant-held area. These reports allegedly triggered the White House to consider new military action in Syria. Nonetheless, it should be noted that the Pentagon denied that such a meeting had taken place.

On March 6, the White Helments, a notorious organization operating in areas controlled by al-Qaeda-linked militants, reported that government forces had conducted a new chlorine gas attack in Eastern Ghouta allegedly injuring 30 people.

It’s interesting to note that reports about alleged chemical attacks started appearing during a rapid advance by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), Ahrar al-Sham, Jaish al-Islam and Faylaq al-Rahman.

By March 7, SAA troops had liberated a large area, including farms near the towns of Misraba and Beit Sawa. The town of Hammouriyah had reportedly surrendered to the SAA and government troops had started entering it. The town of Rayhan, which had been a key militant stronghold in the northeastern part of the pocket, had also been liberated by the SAA.

The militants’ defense is rapidly collapsing. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its counterparts can only be be rescued by some stroke of luck. For example, US missile strikes on Damascus triggered by alleged chemical attacks by the SAA. HTS-linked media are doing all they can to achieve this goal.

On March 6, the Russian Ministry of Defense offered militants a safe passage out of the besieged area via an open corridor.

“The Russian Reconciliation Center guarantees the immunity of all rebel fighters who take the decision to leave Eastern Ghouta with personal weapons and together with their families,” the ministry said adding that vehicles would “be provided, and the entire route will be guarded.”

However, a spokesman for Faylaq al-Rahman publicly rejected the proposal saying that Aleppo will not be repeated. Militants still prevent locals from using the safe corridor to leave the besieged area.

According to Major-General Yuri Yevtushenko, Head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties, by March 6 only 17 people had managed to leave Eastern Ghouta via the Al-Wafideen humanitarian corridor.

On the same day, an An-26 military transport plane crashed near the Russian Hmeimim airbase. According to the defense ministry, 39 people died in the crash. Six crew members and 33 people were on board, all of them military personnel. The incident could have been caused by a technical malfunction.

In the area of Afrin, the Turkish Army and the Free Syrian Army captured 7 villages, including Tall Hamu, Shirkan, Metinli and Qatma, from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). Considering the recent advances, Turkish forces are now attempting to isolate the YPG-held city of Afrin from the northeastern and western directions.

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  • Joe Doe

    Russia Definitely need to provide modern Air Defense System to SAA and under SAA control in order for SAA protect itself and Syria, as Russia is very reluctant to protect Syria and SAA

    • gustavo

      Exactly. The USA-NATO attack to Syria troops is under way, and Russia knows that. Only Russia can protect Syria (due its strong capabilities) from the coming attack ….the question is….will Russia protect Syria of USA-NATO attack ? or, Russia will only complain before UN about the attack.

      • Joe Doe

        The best thing for Russia to do is provide the S-400, more Pantsir-S1 or S-2 and VERBA MANPAD to SAA and under SAA control. If SAA shutdown US Airplane Russia is of the hook it was Syria, because looks like Russia is afraid to use Air Defense System again US

    • Merijn

      The U.S….NATO & their ZIONAZI Brothers are in PURE Desperation-Mode….utter dispair… Tiger Forces Blasting away their Headchopper Allies…. Goes Fast…! Bury them under the Rubble, Chop up these Psychopaths…. no escape to Idlib…….Burn’m Mofos…..Joe… Russia has troops and all that over there….everything under control no prob…

      https://www.google.nl/amp/s/www.globalresearch.ca/liberating-east-ghouta-the-last-us-supported-terrorist-enclave/5631035/amp

  • Smith Ricky

    Lol tomahawk missiles are a joke

    • Ivan Freely

      Those on the receiving end would disagree with you.

  • Lelouch Vi Britannia

    afrin is done , next please. Manbij …

  • Acko Manah

    President Trump was elected on his promises to put America first: not Syria. People rejected Hillary and her aggressive military stands. I really hope USA does not get more involved in Ghouta. There is *no* way Assad is going to give the rebels a region right next to Damascus. Russia will probably shoot down any air attack and it may be very nasty. A direct USA vs Russia fight is very bad. If it spirals American people will panic. There is a major split in America. Anti Trump people will jump on any chance to remove him. Pro Trump people include many Isolationist. I fear what may happen here

    • northerntruthseeker .

      President Drumpf’s promises mean diddly squat… His priorities lie solely in what his Jewish masters demand… And right now those monsters are wanting him to march right in and disintegrate Syria as part of their sick and twisted “Greater Israel” project.

  • Ante

    Russia is definitely afraid of delivery of modern AIR DEFENCE SYSTEMS to SAA, I can’t understand this coward position to an ally.

    • Joe

      Because it can be against Israel. Notice that Russia want to sell S400 to even Saudis but will not sell to Iran or Syria.

      Russia and Israel are friends

      • Merijn

        But are the Russians & Israel Friends?….Are Americans and Israel still Friends?….. That is the Question…some governments seem a little nervous……they better make the right decisions…..

        • Joe

          Israel is only terms with Russia is confirmed as Russia even assured Israel , russia would side with Israel if Iran attacks Israel from Syria.

          You have not seen russia shooting down Israeli planes and allowed them to fly unimpeded in Israel

          • Merijn

            They All gotta play a smart game…. not to drop their masksss…. let’s wait & see..
            I personally don’t think Russians will like it very much if Russia supports ZioNazis but I might be wrong…..

  • paul ( original )

    I find it interesting that the US media using an anonymous source
    report on a meeting where attacking Syria is discussed, and then the
    White House says no such meeting occurred. I know some will think
    that this is just the White House being secretive and dishonest. I am
    not so sure. Without knowing anything more than anyone else, I still
    think it is entirely possible for such a story to be invented as a
    way of pressurizing the White House. What I am saying is that
    disinformation can be used as a weapon in internal power struggles.

    • Samantha Green

      The same liars who invent SAA chemicals!

      • Serious

        You should see the movie Downsizing. XD.

      • Sinbad2

        And the poisoning in London.
        You can tell how scared they are, as their lies and acts grow more desperate.
        The US collapse must be very close.

  • EL ZORRO

    “On March 6, the White Helments, a notorious organization operating in areas controlled by al-Qaeda-linked militants, reported that government forces had conducted a new chlorine gas attack in Eastern Ghouta allegedly injuring 30 people”…TRANSLATION…On March 6 the DEMONIC CRIMINALS IN THE DEEP STATE, THAT CONTROL THE UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL MERCENARIES TERRORISTS, advised their MERCENARIES, to used chlorine gas on their SYRIAN PRISONERS AND BLAME THE SYRIAN ARMY, to be used as a excuse to ATTACK AND INVADE THE SYRIAN SOVEREIGN COUNTRY.

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    Surely USA will attack using just a pair of B2 aircraft vs SAA in Damascus before Russian election…above all to hit Putin with the purpose of discredit him as an strong leader and also the powerful Russian military!….I dont think that Russian air defense will shot down that planes..even if they have tracked it!…but the threat to destroy Al Tanf warning USA to leave just in time when cruise missile or Iskander have been fired…can be a method of dissuasion!

    • ilme

      They don’t need to shoot them down, all they need to do is to send some Interceptors up and have them force the bombers to abort their mission without using weapons. If they start cruise missiles or drones: they can be shot down as no US soldiers would be killed in doing so.

      • John Whitehot

        delete

    • Sinbad2

      The US will not use B2 bombers, if one was shot down, it would be a major humiliation for the USA.
      Russia does not have to shoot down a B2, all it has to do is supply the targeting information to Syria.

  • I want to ask a question – please excuse me if it is extraordinarily dumb…. but
    Wouldn’t a chlorine gas attack be far better (ie., more survivable) for the the victims than say a good old carpet bombing?

    • velociraptor

      no

      • Why not?
        The gas doesn’t kill and maim. It puts people out of commission for a while but they survive and certainly far better than as a bloodstain in the rubble?

        There’s all this hooha and outrage over chlorine but….. hey American made bombs and depleted uranium – not a problem! Those are humane.

        • velociraptor

          because bombing lasts 15-20 min and is over. chemical attack loooooong hours. you can hide yourself from bombing. in shelters. the gas enter shells. bomb is normal weapon gas is weapon of mass destroy. bomb kill you swiftly. gas slowly.
          if you know will come gas attack, than i take your hope beacuse of above written things. a take hope, you can survive. so, gas attack is also psychic attack.

          • Really? And how long does war last? Bombing day after day after day – FOR YEARS – going on for decades now?

            At least after the chlorine has wafted away there are no murdered, mutilated and maimed bodies of children; infrastructure, you know, houses, schools, HOSPITALS are still standing – AND WORKING.

            False hope? False hope of what? SURVIVING the attack?
            Hey Mister – you are still around to hope! Bombs not so much.

            Try again.
            So far you haven’t given a single reason why dropping survivable, non-destructive chlorine gas is so bad it warrants UNSC resolutions and US threats of “retaliation” but dropping bombs – bombs that kill and maim people, children, “beautiful babies,” women, old folk, turns homes and dams and schools ‘n hospitals – WHOLE NATIONS – to rubble —– Oh that’s quite okay. Notta problem. Just another day at the office. Next.

        • Sinbad2

          Chlorine can kill, you can make it at home and see for yourself, if you don’t believe me :)
          But seriously, the reason Americas moderate terrorists are using chlorine, is because it is so easy to make.

          • Chlorine gas CAN kill esp if the ruddy canister lands on your head!
            A conventional bomb WILL kill even if it lands 6′ away from you.

            You can make it accidentally by mixing different cleaning agents together. :-) Making chlorine gas is not a big deal – calling it a “chemical weapon” is silly Yankee-speak from the people who routinely use DU + WP. (Hey – perhaps Putin should supply Asaad with some of those to use on US proxies?)

            It would appear that everyone BUT the Americans and their patsies understand that Asaad is not dropping chemical weapons on his own electorate! But hey – they are the ‘exceptional people’ and ‘exceptional’ is just a fancy word for ‘special’ (the pc word for retarded.)

    • Joe Dirt

      i prefer they use napalm

      • Very patriotic of you I’m sure.

  • First Lastname

    Too bad about that transport plane crashing. I know it was old, but I can’t help but assume that Israel used electronic warfare against it to shut it down. I always assume everything bad has been done by Jews until proven otherwise. It’s not usually wrong.

    • ilme

      So how should using electronic warfare against a plan that lacks electronics wich can be disabled by such action work? Plus the Russian base ist there stuffed with jamming equipment and recording equipment.
      The only known technology I can think of downing such a plane would be the use of an EMP but the nuclear blast had been very obvious.

  • gustavo

    I hope Syria-Hezbolah-Iran-Russia ground troops be able to trap all white helmet hollywood actors and put them in jail.

    • Redadmiral

      Put them in Paradise, where they can collect their Oscars for playing dead.

  • Redadmiral

    So, the fucking Yankee MIC want to use another flimsy excuse to launch Tomahawks and to do as much damage to Syria as possible including murdering hundreds of civilians because 30 headchoppers claim they were injured by a gas attack. This could be neutralised very easily by Russia if their Secretary of Defence or Putin came out and verified that there was no chemical attack. And if the US decided to attack Syria in any shape or form on this pretext, it would be A RED LINE ISSUE for RUSSIA and would have the potential to START A WAR THAT WOULD END ALL WARS. A firm statement like that might get get them to pull their cocks out of their want to be hard machine. The onus is firmly on Putin to ‘put-in’ his Threat.NOW

    • Merijn

      Them only have a very big mouth…… they think peoples are impressed by their dribbling….. them AngloZioNazis is just a bunch of Chickenshit Cockroaches…. with mini-nukes in their pants……

  • Tchoutoye

    The SAA has the, by now rather small, Eastern Ghouta pocket surrounded on all sides. Which means that if they had used chlorine gas, it would have blown to their own troops no matter which direction the wind was blowing. Furthermore there has been a popular uprising going on for 2 days already in Hammouriyah, against the Jihadi rebels and in favour of the government forces… and undisturbed by the dispersal of any chlorine gas.

  • AlexanderAmproz

    Less we talk about bogus attacks Better !

    ===========================
    http://www.voltairenet.org/article199753.html
    Jim Mattis refutes the « Fake News » from Israël and NATO

    by Thierry Meyssan

    The Atlantist Press has been claiming for years that President Bachar el-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. Except that according to US Secretary for Defense, General Jim Mattis, this is fake news. Like Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons, this story, which has been occupying the columns of newspapers for the last five years, is pure war propaganda.

    This should have been headline news in all the Western news outlets. But only Newsweek mentioned it [1]. During his Press conference on 2 February, Secretary for Defense General Jim Mattis indicated that while he « thought » that Damascus had used chemical weapons against his own people, no-one in the Pentagon has ever provided the slightest proof.

    The journalist, who knows General Jim Mattis personally, heard him declare, off the record, his aversion for the myth of Syrian chemical weapon. He offered him the opportunity to repeat his claim, this time in public. Here is the transcript of this conversation (published a little late).

    – Question : Is there any proof that chlorine weapons were used – proof of chlorine weapons?

    – Jim Mattis : I think so.

    – Question : No, I know, I heard you.

    – Jim Mattis : I believe they have been used several times. And that, as you know, is a rather specific category, that’s why I ruled out sarin as being something different – yeah.

    – Question : So there is credible proof that sarin and chlorine …

    – Jim Mattis : No, I don’t have any proof, not specifically. I don’t have proof. What I’m saying is that other groups on the ground, NGO’s, soldiers on the ground, have said that sarin was used. So we’re looking for proof. I have no proof, either credible or non-credible.

    Source : “Media Availability by Secretary Mattis at the Pentagon”, Press Secretary, Departement of Defence, February 2, 2018

    At the beginning of the war, the Syrian Arab Republic asked the UNO to come and investigate the use of chemical weapons by the jihadists. The inspectors found nothing convincing. But in August 2013, the states who were supporting the project by the Muslim Brotherhood reversed the accusation and claimed, on the sole basis of information from Mossad Unit 8200, that the Syrian army had just massacred approximately 1,500 civilians in the Ghouta with a mixture of gases, including sarin.

    Attesting to the good faith of Syria, Russia proposed that it join the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction. Working together, Moscow and Washington destroyed the totality of Syrian chemical weapons and the precursors (which is to say the substances necessary for the manufacture of such weapons).

    However, the accusation of the use of these weapons has not ceased. Even though the Pentagon itself had supervised their destruction, the Atlantist Press persisted in pretending that the Syrian Arab Army was using them. Certain medias, like the Anglo-Saxon Bellingcat (whose director is an employee of the Atlantic Council) [2] or the French Le Monde [3] have become professional repeaters of this Fake News.

    To put an end to the rumour, a joint system of enquiry was set up by the UNO and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). After having organised, from New York and Vienna, a vast compilation of information, this authority refused to go and check the information on-site, and even refused to take samples. Tension increased at the Security Council, where anyone could note the influence exercised by the number 2 of the UN administration – neo-conservative Jeffrey Feltman [4] – over US ambassador Nikki Haley. Finally, we counted as many as five Russian vetos against the Western lies on this subject alone [5].

    At the moment of the Khan Cheikhoun affair, the United States claimed, straight-faced, that they had proof of Syrian responsibility – proof that, according to General Mattis, had never existed – and punished Syria by bombing the base at Cheyrat.

    Secretary for Defense Robert McNamara admitted that the United States lied in order to launch and pursue their war against the Vietnamese people. His successor Colin Powell admitted he had lied to the Security Council in order to launch the war against the Iraqi people. And so on … But they all confessed after having spilled blood and after having left their official functions. None of them faced criminal charges.

    Just as in US commercial law, US leaders can go bankrupt, fail to reimburse their creditors and reboot their businesses from zero as if nothing had happened.

    For the first time, an incumbent Secretary for Defense has denounced the lies of Israël, his own administration, and NATO. Although he was careful to present himself as being convinced of Syria’s guilt, his declaration refutes the justifications for the Israëli bombing in Syria, allegedly to destroy chemical weapons. For his colleagues Rex Tillerson and Nikki Haley, his stand is irrevocable. It sounds a warning to the 23 Ministers of Foreign Affairs who, on 23 January, once again accused Syria of using chemical weapons [6] – these are Ministers who have spoken in favour of « democracy » in the Levant… on the sole condition that Bachar el-Assad refrains from presenting himself for a Presidential election he could win.

    Thierry Meyssan

    [1] “Mattis Admits There Was No Evidence Assad Used Poison Gas on His People”, Ian Wilkie, Newsweek, February 8, 2018.

    [2] Brown Moses, whose real name is Eliot Higgins, also participates in the association Propaganda or Not?, which accuses various sources, including the Voltaire Network, of being instruments of the Kremlin. Cf. “The NATO campaign against freedom of expression”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 5 December 2016.

    [3] Based on a crudely false résumé, this daily accuses the Voltaire Network of being untrustworthy. Cf. “The truth about « fake news »”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 16 January 2018.

    [4] “Germany and the UNO against Syria”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Al-Watan (Syria) , Voltaire Network, 28 January 2016.

    [5] “At the UNO – US inability to admit reality”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 21 November 2017.

    [6] “International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons”, Voltaire Network, 23 January 2018.

  • AlexanderAmproz

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article200141.html

    Discovered: two laboratories of chemical weapons of “moderate” Syrian rebels

    On 12 March 2018, the Syrian Arab Army (the Syrian government’s forces) seized a secret laboratory of chemical weapons based at Aftris (Eastern Ghouta) and a second on 13 March, at Chifonya (also in Eastern Ghouta).

    Russia has declared Eastern Ghouta a zone of de-escalation, but there was absolutely no agreement on how to differentiate foreign jihadists from the so-called “moderate Syrian rebels”.

    Finally, the UN Security Council invited all parties to respect 30 days of cessation of hostilities while the Syrian, Russian and Iranian armies continued with their anti-terrorist operations.

    The terrorist bombings on the Syrian capital have never stopped, despite the call for cessation of hostilities. Since the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2401, an average of 35 projectiles has fallen every day on Damascus, resulting in a number of fatalities and injuries among the civil population.

    In 2012, the Syrian Arab Republic denounced the various chemical attacks carried out by the jihadists and had called for help from the UN. In December 2012, a video published by “moderate rebels” of the “Free Syrian Army” showed one of their laboratories of chemical weapons [1]. In the video, the “moderate rebels” guaranteed that all the Alawites would be gassed. Voltaire Network published this video (photo), on our You Tube account, but the multinational withdrew the video. Following this, the Turkish police intercepted and seized on Turkish soil some chemical weapons that the jihadists had been getting ready to bring into Syria. The police officers that carried out this operation were imprisoned on 13 March for plotting against the Turkish state.

    Be that as it may, very soon afterwards, Western powers started accusing Damascus of using chemical weapons itself in 2013. Syria then signed the Convention prohibiting these weapons whilst Russia and the United States came to supervise the collection and destruction of the entire arsenal. Despite this, these accusations are still made today.

    Translation

    Anoosha Boralessa

    [1] “FSA showcases its chemical weapons lab”, Voltaire Network, 8 December 2012.