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World Russia Vows 'Solidarity' with Syria, Conducts One of War's Deadliest Strikes

02:50  27 october  2020
02:50  27 october  2020 Source:   newsweek.com

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The Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War began in September 2015, after an official request by the Syrian government for military aid against rebel groups.

TASS/. Russia is in principle ready to work on the Treaty on Open Skies and looks into all courses of action over the US’ withdrawal from the agreement, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said in his speech to the International Advisory Council of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

Russia has reiterated its unwavering support for Syria, where it launched one of what reports estimate to be one of the near-decade-long conflict's deadliest strikes, killing dozens of insurgents in the country's renegade northwest.

a group of people standing in a parking lot: Syrians take part in the funeral of 10 fighters with the Turkey-backed Faylaq al-Sham rebel faction in Syria, in the northwestern city of Idlib, on October 26 following their deaths in a Russian air strike. Air strikes by Syrian government ally Russia killed 78 fighters fromgroup when they targeted a training camp in the Jabal Duwayli area in Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. © MOHAMMED AL-RIFAI/AFP/Getty Images Syrians take part in the funeral of 10 fighters with the Turkey-backed Faylaq al-Sham rebel faction in Syria, in the northwestern city of Idlib, on October 26 following their deaths in a Russian air strike. Air strikes by Syrian government ally Russia killed 78 fighters fromgroup when they targeted a training camp in the Jabal Duwayli area in Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met Monday with Syrian ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad for a discussion in which the two "exchanged views on the current situation in and around Syria," according to a Russian Foreign Ministry readout.

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The Russian side reiterated its unfailing solidarity with the Syrian people, support to its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity Opposition figurehead calls on private businesses to go on strike . "The sided exchanged views on the current situation in and around Syria ," the Russian foreign ministry said.

Air strikes by Damascus regime ally Russia killed 78 Turkey-backed rebels in northwestern Syria on Russian air strikes have from time to time targeted military positions, including those of Last week, Turkey withdrew from one of its largest outposts in northwestern Syria which had been Syria ' s war , which broke out after the brutal suppression of anti-government protests in 2011, has killed more

Bogdanov, who serves as special presidential envoy for the Middle East and African countries, emphasized Russia's "unfailing solidarity with the Syrian people, support to its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, as well as its readiness to continue efficient cooperation in restoring the socio-economic infrastructure of the Syrian Arab Republic."

The official Syrian Arab News Agency reported that the two discussed ongoing efforts to defeat an insurgency holding parts of the country's northern border with Turkey, which sponsors a number of opposition fighters in the region, including the northwestern province of Idlib.

That same day, Russian aircraft bombed a camp belonging to the Turkey-backed Faylaq al-Sham group in Idlib's Jabal al-Duwailah region, killing up to 78 fighters and wounding 90, figures expected to rise, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitor with ties to Syria's exiled political opposition.

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Map of Syrian Revolution, Civil war in Syria , Russian war on Syria , ISIS war on Syria . Sides of conflict. Pro-Assad forces, Syrian army, NDF, Russia , IRGC from Iran, Hezbollah, Shia groups from Iraq, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon. U. S ., International coalition, NATO, Israel, E.U. countries, Western countries.

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Drone footage purporting to be of the strike was shared by the Abkhazian Network News Agency, a Russia-affiliated outlet from the separatist state of Abkhazia that is widely recognized as part of Georgia. It appeared to show the attack occurring as the fighters held a military parade, likelying contributing to the high number of casualties.

Graphic footage from the ground appeared to show scores of bodies wrapped in blood-soaked blankets in the aftermath of the raid. Hours later, mass funerals were held in the city of Idlib.

Faylaq al-Sham then launched a wave of heavy artillery attacks against positions of the Syrian government, which Russia supports, at Camp Gorin in the Al-Ghab plain of Hama's northwestern countryside as well as the city of Saraqib and Dar al-Kabeera, the monitor said.

Both the Syrian government and rebels frequently accuse one another of violating the ceasefire, which was struck nearly exactly one year ago by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A bloody escalation earlier this year was halted by a truce in March.

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Russia , which backs the Syrian regime, and Turkey traded recriminations over the strike . ISTANBUL — Turkey vowed Friday to escalate military actions in Syria ' s Idlib province after 33 of its soldiers were killed in an airstrike it blamed on Syria , as the risk of a major military confrontation

Russian bases in Syria have been subjected to a series of mysterious attacks - including one conducted by a "While these systems are certainly deadly , they have not had a Syrian solidarity with baby who lost eye during government shelling. As part of a campaign in solidarity with a baby

In recent days, however, the Russian Defense Ministry has consistently registered "no attacks were registered by illegal armed groups controlled by Turkey."

Regular attacks have instead been attributed to Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the Nusra Front, officially known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an Islamist group considered by Moscow to be a terrorist organization.

"The Russian center for reconciliation calls on the commanders of illegal armed groups to abandon armed provocations and take the path of a peaceful settlement of the situation in the areas under their control," the ministry wrote in its latest bulletin posted Monday.

Support from Russia, as well as Iran, has helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regain much of his country from the array of opposition and jihadi forces that once held the majority of the country. About a third of the country remains in the hands of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a mostly Kurdish group backed by a U.S.-led coalition tasked with defeating the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).

The United States once supported efforts to topple Assad in the wake of the 2011 uprising and subsequent crackdown that led to civil war, but shifted toward battling ISIS in 2014. Russia joined the fight the following year, supporting Syrian forces against ISIS and other non-state actors in a separate campaign that ultimately left only Idlib in rebel hands.

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War of words: News of the Russian strikes against the jihadists came as ISIS militants posted a tweet warning 'Death to Putin: We are coming #soon' with They will be followed by more.' They are being supported by Russia ' s warplanes who bombed camps of rebel fighters trained by the CIA, one of the

Russia 'is pouring gasoline on the fire' of Syria ' s civil war , says Britain currently has no warplanes conducting air strikes over Syria as the Government is waiting to seek parliamentary approval. A doctor working in the town of Rastan - one of the areas targeted – said the strikes had been 'the

Today, Russia and Turkey work alongside Iran as part of a tripartite process to reach a political solution to the conflict in Syria. Moscow and Ankara have often found themselves at odds, however, not just in Syria but in the conflict in Libya and the South Caucasus as well, where Russia's ally Armenia is supporting ethnic Armenian separatists claiming the area of Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, which has launched a campaign supported by Turkey to retake it.

While Russian and Syrian warplanes most frequently targeted Syria's Idlib, the U.S. at times operated there as well as Monday marked the anniversary of the top-secret raid there that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at his compound in the village of Barisha.

The operation, first reported at the time by Newsweek, was followed by a series of high-profile killings of ISIS and Al-Qaeda members including ISIS spokesperson Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir.

Earlier this month, U.S. Central Command targeted Al-Qaeda in Syria leadership in the vicinity of Idlib.

Pentagon spokesperson Navy Commander Jessica McNulty told Newsweek last month that the U.S. military did not coordinate its campaign with Russia, though the two sides kept in touch to avoid incidents, which have nonetheless increased in Syria.

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"The Coalition does not coordinate or share intelligence with Russia in Syria," McNulty said. "From time-to-time we are incidentally apprised of planned Russian strikes on ISIS targets West of the Euphrates River, as part of our routine de-confliction communications."

In conversations with Newsweek, both Russian and Syrian Kurdish officials expressed support for talks between Washington and Moscow, as well as Damascus, which U.S. officials have blacklisted economically and diplomatically due to allegations of war crimes.

a man wearing a military uniform: A Russian Military convoy drives near the village of Ein Diwar in Syria's northeastern Al-Hasakah province on October 11. Both Russian and U.S. forces operate in Syria's northeast, as do Syrian government and Syrian Democratic Forces personnel, sometimes leading to tense interactions. DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images © DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images A Russian Military convoy drives near the village of Ein Diwar in Syria's northeastern Al-Hasakah province on October 11. Both Russian and U.S. forces operate in Syria's northeast, as do Syrian government and Syrian Democratic Forces personnel, sometimes leading to tense interactions. DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images

As Newsweek reported last week, however, U.S. and Syrian officials have been in touch, most recently through the mediation of Lebanese General Security director Major General Abbas Ibrahim over the fate of American journalist Austin Tice and Syrian-American psychotherapist Majd Kamalmaz, both of whom disappeared while in Syria.

One Lebanese official and a Syrian source familiar with the situation identified the Syrian demands in exchange for cooperation as being a lifting of some crippling sanctions levied by the U.S. against the country as well as the withdrawal of U.S. troops from a southeast desert garrison at Al-Tanf.

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In response to this reporting, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a press briefing Wednesday that President Donald Trump's administration was working for the release of U.S. captives abroad but was "not going to change American policy to do that."

Maghawir al-Thawra, the Syrian rebel group partnered with the U.S.-led coalition at Al-Tanf, responded to Newsweek's coverage the following day, saying "we have no plans on leaving anytime soon."

On Friday, U.S.-led coalitions spokesperson Army Colonel Wayne Marotto called Al-Tanf and local partners there a "key part of the mission" to defeating ISIS.

Russia, Iran and Syria have all called for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Al-Tanf, and the rest of the country. President Donald Trump, who took credit during a rally Sunday for both killing Baghdadi as well as taking out "100% of the ISIS caliphate," has also vowed to a Syria exit, though he has maintained around 500 troops, mostly to maintain control of oil and gas reserves in the country's northeast.

In a statement sent to Newsweek, a State Department spokesperson laid out three U.S. strategic objectives in Syria: "The enduring defeat of ISIS and Al-Qaeda, an irreversible political solution to the Syrian conflict in line with UNSCR 2254, and the removal of all Iranian-supported forces."

As for Russian forces, who control at least two major bases along the west coast, removing them was not a priority.

"Russian military forces were in Syria prior to the beginning of the Syrian Conflict in 2011, and thus we do not advocate for the removal of those forces," the spokesperson said at the time.

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