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Showing posts from November, 2016

US says that strikes against Syrian Army in Deir Ezzor were ‘unintentional’

By Paul Antonopoulos

The US Defense Department has said that it's strikes against the Syrian Army in Deir Ezzor that killed over 80 soldiers in mid-Septemer was an “unintentional error” and did not violate international law.

The Pentagon made the claims in a statement on Tuesday, saying that the US-led coalition had launched the air raids based on wrong intelligence and as it was not a deliberate mistake, it would not constitute a breach of law.

"The evidence showed there was not a deliberate disregard of targeting procedures or the rules of engagement," the statement said.

The statement then went onto defend the legality of the deadly airstrikes.

“The decision to strike these targets was made in accordance with the law of armed conflict and the applicable rules of engagement," the statement continued.

“We made an unintentional, regrettable error, based on several factors in the targeting process,” said Richard Coe, US air force brigadier general and the investigating off…


According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Armed Forces launched its military operation on the territory of Syria in order “to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad.”

Photo: CC

The Turkish Army launched its military operation on the territory of Syria in order to put an end to the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the first Inter-Parliamentary Jerusalem Platform Symposium in Istanbul on November 29.

“In my estimation, nearly 1 million people have died in Syria. These deaths are still continuing without exception for children, women and men. Where is the United Nations? What is it doing? Is it in Iraq? No. We preached patience but could not endure in the end and had to enter Syria together with the Free Syrian Army [FSA],” Erdogan said during his speech.

“Why did we enter? We do not have an eye on Syrian soil. The issue is to provide lands to their real owners. That is to say we are there for the establishment of ju…


Russia is going to dispatch several mobile hospitals to the city of Aleppo in order to medical care to residents of the city and its surrounding areas.

Photo: Russian Defense Ministry

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the country’s Defense Ministry and the Russian Emergencies Ministry to promptly dispatch mobile hospitals to Syria in order to provide medical care to residents of Aleppo and its surrounding areas, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing spokesman for Russian President, Dmitry Peskov.

“The President instructed the Defense Ministry and the Emergencies Ministry to dispatch mobile hospitals to the area of the Syrian city of Aleppo to provide medical care to residents of the city and nearby settlements,” Peskov said.

He also noted that the Russian Defense Ministry is going to deploy a medical special operations unit and a multi-functional hospital for 100 places with a special children’s therapeutic department. The daily admission rate of the hospital for ambulatory …


Two Great Weapons Born from Different Design Philosophies



I have read many articles and reviews comparing the American AR-15 and the Russian AK-47 family of assault rifles. Most reviews attempted to definitively label one or the other as the superior weapon. I have found that this entire chain of reasoning missed the point, and showed a deep misunderstanding of the design philosophy behind the genius of both Eugene Stoner and Mikhail Kalashnikov.

I like to believe that both men would appreciate the competition often superimposed upon their work, as all great and gifted minds do; however, their designs are so different in substance and philosophy that such an idea is quite artificial and truly an artifice of official propaganda or idle conjecture. Anyone that has fired either weapon recreationally, or more importantly, trusted his life to the weapon in battle, would walk away with a profound love of either rifle, for a host of shared and different re…

Complete battlefield update from east Aleppo: map

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:50 P.M.) - The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has made several advances inside the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo today, capturing approximately 40-45 percent of the last jihadist pocket in the provincial capital.

Led by the elite Tiger Forces, the Syrian Arab Army managed to capture the Sheikh Fares, Haydariyah, and Al-Sakhour districts of east Aleppo today after overrunning the jihadist rebels in the northern pocket of this contested region.

Following the capture of those aforementioned districts, the Syrian Armed Forces seized the Scientific Research Facility in the Jabal Badro area, killing a dozen militants before continuing their advance westward.

Northwest of Jabal Badro, the Syrian Arab Army's Republican Guard, alongside Liwaa Al-Quds (Palestinian paramilitary), launched their first attack on the Ma'asaraniyah Youth Housing Complex near the 'Ard Al-Hamra District.

Despite reports of the Syrian Armed Forces capturing the Youth Housing Complex, Al-Masdar News…

Large build-up of Hezbollah, Iraqi forces in southern Aleppo

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:50 P.M.) - Hezbollah and Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary) have mobilized a large force in the southern countryside of Aleppo, as they prepare to launch a massive offensive that is expected to rival their 2015 assault.

According to a Syrian Army source in Aleppo city, Hezbollah and Harakat Al-Nujaba have been increasing their manpower for several days now, in preparation for their offensive to recapture the key town of Khan Touman.

Khan Touman is strategically located along the Aleppo-Damascus Highway (M-5 Highway) in southern Aleppo; its proximity to the jihadist stronghold of Saraqib in Idlib makes the seizure of this town a top priority for Hezbollah and Harakat Al-Nujaba.

While Al-Masdar cannot confirm Hezbollah's plans after Khan Touman; it is very likely that they will make a major push to lift the siege on the predominately Shi'i towns of Kafraya and Al-Fou'aa near the provincial capital of Idlib.

In order to reach Al-Fou'aa and Kafraya, Hezb…


The city of Al-Bab is located in the northern part of the Aleppo Province (about 36km northeast of Aleppo, about 26km south of border with Turkey), and remains under ISIS control. Its strategic importance increased after Kurdish and SDF forces took Manbij which had served as an important ISIS logistical node for 2.5 years, helping transfer jihadists from Turkey to Syria and back, and also facilitating oil and arms shipments. The Arabic name of the city translates as “the gate” which is entirely reflected by its current importance.

Click to see the full-size map
The Parties’ Interests

The Kurds want to take Al-Bab to reassemble the fragmented Shahba canton (with a administrative center of Tal Rifaat and Manbij), consolidate the areas they control, and proclaim a Syrian Kurdistan as an independent country or a broad autonomy nominally within the SAR. Turkey is implementing Operation Euphrates Shield, with Turkish Army regular units and the so-called FSA ( Ahrar al-Sham, Sultan Murad Divis…


The Iraqi military has received 10 BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles from Bulgaria, according to Iraqi media outlets. The Soviet-made IFVs will serve as yet another tool in the fight against terrorist in the war-torn country. The deal hasn’t officially been reveled as there’s no information in the Bulgarian media, nor any official statements from the Bulgarian government. However, pictures and videos of the vehicles have been posted at the Iraqi news outlets. It’s a public secret that Bulgaria has been one of the top players on the black market for arms in the Middle East, selling all kinds of small weapons, tanks, IFVs and other equipment to both the Syrian and Iraqi governments but also to all the various types of rebel groups and terrorists. The country has had one of the biggest arms reserves left from the Cold War. Earlier this year, reports suggested that Bulgaria had delivered T-72 battle tanks to Iraq.

Somali elections marred by corruption and fraud

Corruption and voter intimidation have engulfed the ongoing parliamentary elections in Somalia, the auditor general told the BBC.

Bribes of between $1,000 - $5,000 have been paid according to Gen Nur Farah Jimale.

The BBC has reported that some candidates have been offering bribes of up to $1.3m to secure votes. They never specified who.

Gen Nur told the BBC Somali Service that some seats should be re-run because money had been used to "out-manoeuvre" other candidates. This is despite the elections being conducted by the United Nations.

Cases of government resources being used in the election have also been documented, he continued.