AOur thanks to Vesti News for this video report on the war in Syria.
You will recall that Trump started tweeting in 2018 that he had defeated ISIS. This was misleading and false in two ways. He was suggesting that ISIS was the only terrorist organization in Syria that threatened peace. In fact, al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda offshoot, later rebranded as Hayat Tahrir as-Sham, was and is doing the same damage and killing innocents just as effectively and prolifically as ISIS, and further, ISIS itself was and is nowhere near defeated.
Briefly a tenuous peace was maintained in Idlib Province, where Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iran had negotiated a de-escalation zone. But the terrorists began violating the zone almost immediately.
Perhaps the biggest assemblage of terrorists in the world, of all stripes and from numerous countries, is now caught in a cauldron in Idlib Province in Syria. See our translation below from RIA Novosti. These terrorists are essentially doomed. They have no way out of the cauldron and those who continue fighting are being destroyed.
So why are we telling you this? Because the news on this latest stage of the war is not fully covered in the West. After all, it is embarrassing since Western msm have been leading their readers to think the Syrian conflict was over. In fact, the reports are mostly biased to lead their audiences to think the Syrians and Russians are nothing but bloodthirsty animals who love to destroy schools and hospitals. However, if you watch the above-linked video and read the subtitles, you will see that in Idlib, schools have been commandeered by terrorists and used as bases. So yes, some of them have been destroyed since they were no longer schools at all.
Idlib cauldron. What will give Assad’s army control over Khan Sheikhun?
Aug 22, 2019
MOSCOW, Aug 22 - RIA Novosti, Andrey Kots. The Syrian Arab Army, with the support of Russian aviation, surrounded the city of Khan Sheikhoun, the largest stronghold of militants in the south of Idlib province. This is the result of a large-scale military operation by Damascus in response to a violation of the ceasefire. The Syrian army took control of the Damascus-Aleppo highway, cutting off terrorists from supplies. RIA Novosti reports on what happened and how events will develop further.
A ceasefire in the province of Idlib was announced on August 2. However, the militants of the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham [a rebranding of Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra] coalition ignored this. By August 4, the Russian military recorded 20 shelling settlements in the Idlib de-escalation zone. In response, on August 5, the command of the Syrian Armed Forces resumed operations against the terrorists.
On August 7, the Syrian army regained control of the city of Arbain in the northwest bordering the Idlib province of Hama and eliminated 45 militants. Major General Alexei Bakin, head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria, noted a sharp aggravation in the Idlib de-escalation zone, reporting 42 shellings per day by illegal armed groups. The next day, two Syrian troops were killed and 13 were injured from gunfire.
On August 9, terrorists launched a counterattack in Idlib province, attacking positions of government forces in the area of Abu Dali. Ten Syrian soldiers were killed, and more than 20 people were injured. After retreating, the militants fired on the outskirts of the city with multiple launch rocket systems. On August 10, the Syrian army liberated several villages from the militants on the border of the provinces of Hama and Idlib, knocking out Jabhat-an-Nusra terrorists. The military encircled Al-Hubayt, which occupies a strategic position in the south of Idlib.
Major General Bakin reported that the militants had continued to build up forces in the southern part of the Idlib de-escalation zone. The terrorists deployed about 470 fighters and military equipment there. The al-Watan newspaper reported on August 11 that the Syrian army had liberated the city of al-Hubayt, inflicting significant damage to Jabhat al-Nusra militants in terms of equipment and manpower. The remnants of the terrorists retreated to Khan Sheikhoun. In two days of fighting, 23 Syrian troops were killed.
SAA continued its movement towards Khan Sheikhun. On August 14, the army took control of the villages of Kafr Ain and Aas, as well as Tell Aas [Aas hill] in the south of Idlib province east of the city of al-Hubayt. That day, the militants managed to bring down a Syrian Air Force fighter-bomber in Idlib. The pilot catapulted and was captured. On August 16, the army liberated four more villages in the south of the province.
Soon, the SAA completed the encirclement of Khan Sheikhun. On August 19, a convoy of Turkish armoured vehicles crossed the Syrian border and advanced towards the besieged city – probably to help Ankara-controlled groups in the province. A military convoy attacked the Syrian Air Force. The column stopped.
“Turkey has its own interests in the Syrian conflict, in particular in the Idlib zone,” Boris Dolgov, senior researcher at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, explained to RIA Novosti. “Turkey is still not fully complying with the Sochi memorandum. The Turks continue to operate in "their own interests in the Idlib zone. And their interests are the preservation of armed Islamist groups, which Ankara considers moderate and which rely on the support of Turkey."
The successes of the Syrian Arab army have already elicited a nervous reaction of the United States. Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokeswoman, said Tuesday that Bashar al-Assad’s government and its allies should return to a ceasefire in Idlib.
"Today's unacceptable air strike on the Turkish convoy followed ongoing brutal attacks on civilians, humanitarian workers and infrastructure. [the Turks entered Syria illegally, in fact. As for attacks on civilians, the worst such attack was conducted in the bombing of Raqqa by the US, so the US authorities are just being their hypocritical selves] We condemn this violence and it must be stopped," Ortagus emphasized. [Statements like this are displays of US impotence. They can do nothing]
Victory coming soon?
The capture of Khan Sheikhun will seriously strengthen the position of the Syrian Arab army in the south of Idlib province. This will allow the militants to be locked in a cauldron in the neighbouring settlements of Latamna, Murek and Kafr Zeit and will create the prerequisites for a further offensive into the last governorate in Syria, which remains under the control of terrorists.
“Today, Syria is building its future with hope, but terrorist organizations that are banned in many countries of the world continue not only to exist there, but also to resist,” Andrei Koshkin, head of the Plekhanov Russian Political Science and Sociology department, said on the air of Sputnik radio. Government forces of the SAR [Syrian Arab Republic] are quite successfully clearing the territory, and by now they are blocking many groups, cutting off their supply routes for ammunition, depriving them of means of subsistence. I think this is an omen of victory for the time when government troops can completely clear the territory of Syria from terrorists."
It is worth noting that in the province of Idlib, many immigrants from the former republics of the USSR and some Russian regions are fighting on the side of the militants. To prevent them from returning home after the victory of the SAA is an important task for Russia.
President Vladimir Putin, in anticipation of a meeting with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, called the possibility of their transfer to other regions of the world a great danger.