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JULY 2020

Turkey Shells Syrian Army In Aleppo. U.S. Threatens To Sink Iranian Ships In Gulf

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Turkey Shells Syrian Army In Aleppo. U.S. Threatens To Sink Iranian Ships In Gulf

In the second half of the week the military situation in Syria’s western Aleppo escalated.

On April 22, Turkish forces shelled positions of the Syrian Army in western Aleppo. Pro-Turkish sources claimed that this shelling was a response to Syrian Army strikes on positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other al-Qaeda-linked groups near the villages of Kafr Amma, al-Qasr, Kafr Taal and Kafr Nouran. Pro-government sources described these strikes however as a defensive measure to counter regular ceasefire violations by Turkish-backed militants.

On April 23, the Syrian Army reinforced its positions east of Atraib by deploying additional troops and equipment there. If Turkish forces and Idlib militants continue attacks on Syrian Army positions in western Aleppo, open military hostilities could resume in the area.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham executed a 19-yo Syrian refugee deported from Turkey to Greater Idlib. Mohamad Aqib Hamam Tanu was killed on April 20 after militants found that SMS messages in his phone contained criticism of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham leader Abu Mohamad al-Julani.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham remains the most powerful group in Greater Idlib and controls most of the militant-held area in the region, including Idlib city, the border with Turkey and key positions on the contact line with the Syrian Army. The Turkish leadership in fact provides direct support to the terrorist group by turning a blind eye to its crimes and protecting it from the Syrian Army.

More details appeared about the recent Israeli strike on Syria. According to fresh data, the Israeli strikes targeted a command center of Hezbollah near the town of al-Sukhnah, a training camp of the Iranian-backed Afghan Fatemiyoun Brigade in the al-Tulilah reserve near Palmyra, and a base of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps within the Palmyra Air Base. Despite this, the only confirmed casualties resulting from the strike were 3 Syrian service members.

Pro-government locals intercepted another US military convoy in the province of al-Hasakah. On April 22, locals stopped the US convoy near the town of Farfarah, stoned it and forced US troops to retreat. The incident happened near a Syrian Army checkpoint.

The Asayish security unit of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces commented on the recent clashes with the pro-government National Defense Forces (NDF) in al-Qamishly city. The Kurdish force accused pro-government fighters of destabilizing the situation and threatened them with military action. In their turn, pro-NDF sources claim that the tensions in the city result from the violent behavior of Asayish personnel, who are putting pressure on and discriminating against Arab locals on ethnic grounds.

On April 22, US President Donald Trump said that he has given orders to attack and destroy any fast attack craft of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy that “harass” US warships. Encounters between the IRGC Navy and US warships erupt in the Persian Gulf on a regular basis. All these confrontations have a similar pattern: the US leadership sends warships, including aircraft carriers, to the Persian Gulf describing this as a show of force and a ‘strong message’ to Iran. IRGC fast attack craft deploy to track and monitor the US warships, as well as to prevent any attempts to enter Iranian waters. In response, the US accuses Iran of aggressive actions and provocations.

The most recent incident of this kind happened on April 15 when 11 IRGC Navy fast boats tracked 6 US warships: the USS Lewis B. Puller, USS Paul Hamilton, USS Firebolt, USS Sirocco, USCGC Wrangell and USCGC Maui.

Any US Navy attempts to attack IRGC Navy fast attack craft operating in Iranian or international waters in the Persian Gulf would immediately lead to a new round of military escalation in the region. Just recently, the Iranian military deployed additional coastal defense missile systems near the Straight of Hormuz.

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  • Dick Von Dast’Ard

    It’s getting a touch spicy again.

  • Daily Beatings

    USN must be holding their maps upside-down and thinking the Persian Gulf is the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Daily Beatings

    USN must be holding their maps upside-down thinking the Persian Gulf is the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Johan

    The reporting is rather biased, “tracking” the US ships is really harassing as you can see in the films on the internet. These mosquito’s are in a irresponsible way challenging the US ships and pass in front and back of them in distances of down to 10 m and this in INTERNATIONAL WATERS. It is irresponsible, the captains must have nerves as steal if one of those zombies fires a heavy arm the ship can be finished. No captain should allow those irresponsible terrorists that nearby there ship and normal they should finish them off before they can do real arm. We all know that Iran is not to trust,we all saw the Cheating with the Adrian Daria, the infiltrations and hiding behind the Yemenite to bomb Saudi petrol sites, the hanging off critic journalists and oppressing of the Iran population, the killing brigades in Europe captured by Europese polce, Iran proved several times to be unable to safeguard the shipping lanes, let alone the neighbours, because they are the source of all agression, Iran untrustworthiness is only challenged by the Turkish untrustworthiness Acting against this aggressive parole is now allowed.

    • christianblood

      You are misinformed and drunk with empire’s propaganda!
      First, the area is called ‘The Persian Gulf’ not the american gulf, so you better explain what the US is doing thousands of miles from home?

      Secondly, the US, not Iran, is the greatest to world peace today. In fact, America is Voted the Biggest Threat to World Peace – Gallup

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0bvNiKSpcA

    • nixsagend

      Would you please send me a picture of where international waters are in the Persian Gulf? I do not find any!

      • Johan

        The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) set the convention that all countries may claim “territorial waters” out to a distance of 12 miles from their shoreline. Since the Strait of Hormuz is only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, this means that there is no longer a corridor of “high seas” in the Strait (and there has not been for some time.)

        (Source: Heritage Foundation)

        UNCLOS also recognizes the right to transit passage through straits such as the Strait of Hormuz (or, for that matter, the Strait of Gibraltar.) According to UNCLOS, such passages must be “for the purpose of continuous and expeditious transit of the strait between one part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone and another part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone.” It is this right of passage that UNCLOS is supposed to guarantee, and that countries are not supposed to infringe upon.

        Complicating matters, the United States is technically not a party to UNCLOS, but does recognize it as international convention. (Their primary objections at the time of the treaty were not over territorial waters but rather over deep-sea mineral exploration.) Moreover, Iran signed the treaty but never ratified it. Oman is a full party to the treaty, as is the UK.

        Notice that the Strait is between Iran and Oman. Look at the part of the Strait that says “shipping lane” in Oman’s waters. Presumably that’s where “Sentinel” will operate with Omani permission. Al Jazeera.

        So while Iran doesn’t recognize any part of the Strait of Hormuz as being international waters, this program can still operate legally so long as it has permission from Oman and it sticks to Omani waters. Outside the Strait, it might have to get permission from different countries, e.g. United Arab Emirates.

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        Does Iran recognize any of the water in the Strait of Hormuz as being International Water?
        No. Nobody does.

        To what degree is that even allowed under international law?
        It depends on precisely what is meant by “engaged to preserve the free and open passage of commerce.”

        Does any of the Strait fall under international waters?
        No.

        But the free and open passage of commerce through the strait of Hormuz does not depend on any part of it being international waters; rather, it depends on the concept known in customary maritime law as innocent passage.

        • nixsagend

          According to the current state of the contracts, merchant ships are allowed to pass freely, but warships are not. These would actually require a permit from Iran.

          • Johan

            You mix up the strait of Hormuz : where the territorial waters reach each other and if you look at the shipping lanes ships are no lovers from Iran and stay in non Iran waters. The Persian Gulf has international waters, as you can read everybody claims more. I want to include a image of a high sea map and territorial as by seafares. Some umbiliators think the world is build only to suit them but it isn’t. And yes the US is one of them build thanks God every 4 year they can chose some body els, most countries in the middle east are unable to reject their tyrant, people do matter less in countries like Iran, Turkey, Saoudi, etc… so all press and critisme is forbitten, protest movements are silenced and hidden by the mullahs. We in the west are better informed as let us say a accountant in Istanbul or a doctor in Isfahan we can connect with every all news media even , God forbit it those diotes off Amaq. So yes there are international waters in the Persian Gulf and all nations of the world are allowed to pass the strait off Hormuz

  • Rhodium 10

    ” 3 SAA killed as a result of Israeli airstrikes..”….but accord to oposition sources..NOT official sources!…oposition sources are NOT a reliable info Mr. SF !

  • goingbrokes

    US warships sailing the worlds oceans constantly is aggression by US and should be against the international law. If the ridiculous “freedom of navigation” law was re-stated as applying to commercial shipping alone and NOT warships we would have more peace in this world.

    • christianblood

      Well-said.

  • Assad must stay

    what else is new?