Syria: Russian military police enter base in Raqqah as US troops leave

Source: Press TV
Russian military police have taken control of a base near Syria’s northern city of Raqqah only a few days after US servicemen left the site, which lies in a strategic area at a crossroads linking the strategic city with the central and northern regions of the war-ravaged country.

Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported that Russian forces entered the base, a former school building in the village of Tal Samin and located 26 kilometers (16 miles) north of the provincial capital Raqqah, on Thursday.

“By the end of the day, the unit will be stationed and, in a manner of speaking, we will carry out patrols … to protect local civilians starting from today,” Russian military officer Arman Mambetov said after the Russian flag was hoisted above the base.

The development came as Syrian authorities had earlier stated that foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants were using important roads in Tal Samin to transport ammunition and personnel when the area was under US control.

In late October, Washington reversed an earlier decision to pull out all of its troops from northeastern Syria, announcing the deployment of about 500 soldiers to the oil fields controlled by Kurdish forces in the Arab country.

The US claimed that the move was aimed at protecting the fields and facilities from possible attacks by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group. That claim came although US President Donald Trump had earlier suggested that Washington sought economic interests in controlling the oilfields.

Pentagon chief Mark Esper then threatened that the US forces deployed to the oil fields would use “military force” against any party that might seek to challenge control of the sites, even if it were Syrian government forces or their Russian allies.

Syria, which has not authorized American military presence in its territory, has said the US is “plundering” the country’s oil.

A senior advisor to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Wednesday that Damascus plans to file a lawsuit against Washington for plundering the Arab country’s oil resources.

Bouthaina Shaaban said the United States has no right to Syria’s oil, and the Arab country is going to sue it over a plan to steal the oil resources.

Shaaban warned the US of popular opposition and operations against the presence of American troops at Syrian oil fields, and insisted on the exit of all foreign occupiers, whether they are terrorists, Turks or Americans.

Surge in kidnapping by Kurdish YPG and Asayesh

By Sarah Abed Feb 12, 2018 – Reposted
Source: MintPress
Eddie Gaboro Hanna — founder of Patriarchal Relief Care Australia, a group that provides aid to Christian families impacted by wars in Syria and Iraq — stated on January 20th, that a few days prior:

The Kurds started a new operation [whereby] they are taking young Christian boys by force to sign them up for the Kurdish military & send them to the front line at Afrin where a new battle has just commenced with Turkey on the border. … I’m with Sootoro now. That’s who I stay with — the good Sootoro of course, not the Kurdish one (Sutoro). Pretty much the Christians are treated as second-class citizens [here] in their own land. … Just like how ISIS has the Islamic tax they have their own Kurdish one. They’ve replaced ISIS.”

In late January I was able to question Eddie in detail about his role and his view of these events:

Sarah Abed (SA): Can you tell me about yourself, your mission, and why you are in Syria?

Eddie Gaboro Hanna (EGH): I’m the founder of Patriarchal Relief Care Australia. For the past five years I’ve been organizing fundraising events and sending funds to our Patriarchal diocese in Damascus, to be dispersed to the most needy Christians suffering in war zones in Syria and Iraq.

I’m now on my second aid mission to Syria and am working on projects such as repairing damaged and bombed homes of displaced families, in hopes they can return to their homes. I’m also aiding over 400 orphans and over 160 widows, as well as purchasing and supplying medical equipment, allowances and supplies to ill and disabled children.

I made a documentary called “Tears of Another Genocide” to help raise awareness and show the world the persecution and genocide against Christians in the Syrian war.

Watch | Tears of Another Genocide – Official :Trailer
SA: How long have you been in Syria during this trip?

EGH: I’ve been in Syria for exactly five weeks now.

SA: What areas have you visited during your trip thus far?

EGH: I visited Damascus, Saydnaya, Maloula, Homs and villages in the province of Homs, Sadad, Aleppo, Qamishli, Hassakeh, and Khabour.

SA: Did you receive protection from Sootoro or the SAA? If so in what areas? What type of protection?

EGH: Sootoro, as in the Christian Sootoro not the pro-Kurdish fake Sutoro, picked me up and accommodated me for a week in northern Syria. In every other part of Syria I was in, which were all under the control of the SAA (Syrian Arab Army), I didn’t need any protection — only in the Kurdish (controlled) areas of Northern Syria I needed protection.

SA: Have you received any threats while in Syria?

EGH: No, I haven’t received any threats.

SA: Has your life ever been in danger while in Syria? If so where, why, and by whom?

EGH: Yes, my life was in serious danger New Year’s Eve in the Christian town of Bab Toma. I was outside among thousands in a crowd celebrating New Year’s Eve and at exactly 12:02, just past midnight, the Free Syrian Army started firing mortar shells and one landed approximately 30 to 50 meters from me killing two Christians that night.

Watch | Civilians flee mortar fire, video provided by Eddie Hanna
SA: What do Syrians want foreigners to know about the war in Syria?

EGH: Syrians want the foreigners to know that it was never a revolution nor a peaceful protest, because in 2009, two years before the war, the terrorists started digging tunnels and stashing massive arms preparing for this brutal war.

SA: What are some of the complaints you’ve heard from Syrians?

EGH: Non-Kurds are treated as second-class citizens by the Kurds. They are forced to pay special taxes simply because they are non-Kurds. Christian homes have been confiscated. Kurds write on the homes that this property now belongs to the Kurds, exactly like how ISIS writes on homes they take. Syrians complain more about America and the Kurds than anything else. America funded the opposition who started the war and destroyed over a hundred thousand Christian homes, and they’ve also funded the Kurds, who are oppressing the non-Kurds and even some Kurds who disagree with their political ambitions.

Eddie told me that he had “recorded a video of the writing they wrote on the wall of an Armenian home, exactly like how ISIS writes on the properties of Christians when they confiscate them.”

Watch | Christian property in Qamishlis seized by Kurdish forces, video provided by Eddie Hanna

In a more official rendering of the experiences Eddie recounted a World Council of Arameans press release, titled “Kurdish YPG / Asayesh Forces Kidnapped More Aramean Christians in Northeast Syria,” which states:

Local Christian sources, fearing for their lives and speaking on condition of anonymity to the World Council of Arameans (WCA), report that they are facing more and more harassments from the Kurdish YPG and Asayesh (security forces).

On Friday, 19 January, the first grave human rights violations of the new year included the abduction of seven Christians — four Armenians and three Arameans (otherwise known as Syriacs). Nevertheless, following intense negotiations, all of them were released except for the 20-year young Aramean, Saliba A., who was snatched in daylight out of his shop in Qamishli by the Asayesh.

After the threat of ISIS, the current wish of the Arameans is for the nationalist Kurds to leave them, their organizations, schools, churches and their self-defense of Sootoro in peace. The Aramean-led Sootoro even includes Arabs, who are also being seized by the Asayesh and enrolled by the YPG.”

Deteriorating conditions in Kurdish “controlled” areas

Eddie and Qamishli resident Samer, a reliable local source, provided me with further insight into on-the-ground conditions and human rights violations they witnessed in Syria. These included soaring real-estate prices as wealthy Kurds buy up as much property that they can get their hands on, often paying the owners double the property’s value.

Kurds are able to offer more for these properties due to illegal control of Syrian industry – including the oil, transportation, financial sectors — imposing unlawful taxes, and charging fees for everyday things such as renewing licenses or carrying out normal business activities. If one wants to sell a certain good, they are directed to a Kurd who is in charge of collecting a tax on that particular good. They are doing this for almost everything and the local population is suffering as a result.

Eddie went on to say:

YPG, PYD, SDF, MSF, they are all the same. The SDF have aligned themselves with the Free Syrian Army who openly work side by side with Jabhat Al Nusra [Al Qaeda]. The Kurd[ish militias] have recruited ex-ISIS members.”

I explained that when I had written about the connections between Daesh/ISIS and Kurdish militias, some people were shocked by the association, he responded: “It’s not shocking when you remember the Kurds were the ISIS of 1915, except they slaughtered Christians on a much larger scale then.”

Much of Kurdish culture is borrowed from Assyrians, Armenians, and Aramean culture. In fact, much of the land in Eastern Turkey that the Kurds now claim once belonged to Armenians. It is hardly surprising, then, that the Kurds assisted in the Turkish genocide of Assyrians and the 1915 genocide of Armenians.

Eddie told me that the taxes being charged are similar to what ISIS was forcing civilians to pay in areas it controlled. Samer stated that the prices of food, clothing, etc., are about 25 percent higher than in other governorates in the country, such as in Damascus. Electricity is scarce; people are using generators and have noticed a lot of cars without licence plates. He said it has become a “military society.” Education is also being negatively affected. Samer went on to say “guns are everywhere; people are buying guns like it’s food.”

Property theft by Kurdish militias persists

Eddie Gaboro Hanna told me: “They [the Kurdish militias] are still taking land and property from Christians by force and charging the Christian businesses a tax.” They are also destroying historical sites and claiming Assyrian artifacts to be Kurdish in origin. Historical revisionism is taking place, and the indigenous people are crying out for the world to stop these violations.

An article by reporter Paul Antonopoulos, originally published by the website Fort Russ and republished by AINA, states:

Reports of ethnic cleansing have been consistent in areas controlled by the SDF/YPG, with Arab villages entirely evacuated and re-inhabited by Kurdish settlers.

In the most recent case, … Tabqa, a city made up primarily of Arab Sunnis and a small Christian Assyrian minority, has seen SDF tyranny continue since they captured the site from ISIS in May 2017. Houses that were emptied by people escaping the fighting and SDF rule have seen their houses confiscated and taken over by the SDF-controlled Tabqa Council.

The Tabqa Council says that the newly vacant homes are to be given to the families of SDF fighters who have died in battle.”

Kurdish independence has been falsely portrayed as an ethnoreligious, democratic, feminist, revolutionary cause by mainstream and even some alternative media outlets. However, these media sources completely ignore facts and realities that contradict the romanticized version being publicly displayed. A point they often disregard is that the Kurds are not the original inhabitants of the lands that they now claim. Assyrians, Aramaeans, Armenians and other Christian minority groups are indigenous to the Levant. Aramaic, the language spoken by Arameans, dates back 3,000 years and is the language that Jesus Christ spoke. Many members of the Syriac Orthodox church still speak Aramaic and it’s an important component of their religious liturgy.

Syria: 11 martyred, others injured in landmines blasts in Tadmur, Hama, and Hasaka

Source: SANA
Eight civilians were martyred and eleven others were injured on Saturday in blast of a landmine left behind by Daesh (ISIS) terrorists in the surrounding of Arek village in Tadmur (Palmyra) desert, SANA reporter said.

The victims are people who work in raising livestock who were being transported by a truck with their families in search of pasturage.

Director of Palmyra National Hospital Dr. Walid Awdeh told the reporter that 19 people arrived at the hospital; 8 of them, 5 women and 3 children having been killed in the blast, while the 11 others sustained various injuries including amuptation, broken bones, contusions, and wounds.

The doctor said the injured received emergency treatment and were later transproted to hospitals in Homs, while the bodies of the martyrs were released to their families.

Meanwhile in Hama province, SANA’s reporter said two children were martyred due to blast of a landmine left behind by Daesh terrorists in Najm al-Zohour village, in northeastern Salamyiah area.

The reporter said the children were walking in farmlands in the surroundings of the village when the landmine went off, killing them instantly.

In Hasaka province, a child was martyred and five others were injured in the blast of a landmine left behind by Daesh in al-Serb village northeast of al-Shadadi.

SANA’s reporter said the landmine went off as a number of children were herding sheep, killing one child and injuring five others who were rushed to hospitals for treatment.

Syria Renews Call for Immediate UNSC Action to Stop US-Led Coalition’s Crimes against the Syrians

By Hamda Mustafa
Source: SyriaTimes

DAMASCUS,(ST)- Syria has renewed its call on the Security Council to act immediately as to put an end to the massacres being committed by the US-led coalition against the Syrian people and to end the illegal presence of US and other foreign troops in the Syrian territories, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in two letters to the UN Chief and President of the Security Council dealing with the US-led coalition’s repeated crimes against the Syrians and the new massacre committed on Tuesday by the coalition against civilians in al-Baghouz town in Deir Ezzor countryside.

More than 70 civilians, most of them women and children, were martyred and injured in airstrikes conducted today by the so-called international coalition led by the United States against al-Baghouz town, according to local sources.

The sources made it clear that the airstrikes targeted a camp containing hundreds of civilians who fled the coalition’s shelling and Daesh terrorism.

The ministry said that the coalition’s repeated attacks against civilians and its use of internationally banned weapons have become a systematic behavior that flagrantly violates the rules of international law, international humanitarian law and human rights agreements.

The new massacre is one of the war crimes and crimes against humanity being perpetrated by the so-called international coalition against the Syrian people, added the ministry, pointing out that such crimes included the coalition’s support for terrorism and its using of terrorists and separatists to achieve its goals and aggressive schemes which target the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Syria urges all the countries member in the coalition to reconsider their participation in its aggressive acts and crimes against the Syrian people and to immediately withdraw from the coalition as to rid themselves of the US blackmail attempts as well as political and economic pressure, the ministry went on to say.

Syria renews its call on the Security Council to assume its responsibilities in preserving international peace and security, to conduct international investigation into the US-led coalition’s crimes in Syria and to put an end to the illegal presence of all foreign troops in Syria, the ministry concluded.

Trump Forces and ISIS Attack SAA Outposts in Al-Bukamal

Source: SyriaNews
Trump Forces along with ISIS (ISIL, Daesh, al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant) terrorist groups carried out a coordinated attack against an SAA outpost in Al Bukamal area, southeast of Deir Ezzor.

The ‘ISIS Airforce’ aka ‘Illegal International Coalition to Support ISIS’ bombed an artillery post of the Syrian Arab Army in the Sukkariyeh area, west of Al bukamal.

US-led coalition attack was at 11:30 pm yesterday Saturday evening, and caused the injuring of two SAA soldiers and the destroying of the artillery cannon.

Simultaneously, herds of ISIS terrorists carried out an attack against Syrian Arab Army posts positioned in the area from the Baghouz axis, where the Trump Forces Murdered 5 children and 3 women end of last month, east of the Euphrates adjacent to the borders with Iraq.

The SAA units operating in the area have repelled US-sponsored ISIS attacks and killed and injured most of the ISIS attackers.

This US-led illegal coalition attack against a Syrian Arab Army unit is usually accustomed with attacks by ISIS terrorists or to secure their retreating terrorists from battlefronts with the SAA troops.

A previous similar attack by the US-led Coalition on SAA units in Al-Bukamal area was merely 8 months ago, in similar tactics and purposes by the illegal Coalition.

When the US-led illegal Coalition cannot attack SAA or any of its allies posts inside Syria and protecting the Syria people, the Coalition murders the Syrian people directly. A long list of such crimes against humanity committed in the past few months in the province of Deir Ezzor alone of such nature.

This comes in addition to previous war crimes committed by the US-led coalition in Raqqa city which was ‘completely obliterated, and not ‘liberated from ISIS’ as they claimed from ISIS.

The Syrian Arab Army and its allies were on the verge of cleaning the entire province of Deir Ezzor during their swift advance in the region in late 2017, before the US and its cronies in the illegal coalition jumped to the rescue of ISIS and drew a line to prevent the SAA from chasing ISIS, with the Russian approval, one of the fatal Russian miscalculations in the Syrian Crisis.

Deir Ezzor: US-led coalition’s bombing kills 10 civilians in al-Kishkiah town

Source: SANA
Deir Ezzor – Ten civilians among them children were killed after the US-led coalition shelled al-Kishkiah town in Deir Ezzor , less than 24 hours after its massacre against civilians al-Sha’afa village.

Local sources told SANA reporter that a house in al-Kishkiah was razed when warplanes of the US-led coalition launched an aggression on the town located on the left bank of the Euphrates River in the southeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor under the pretext of combating Daesh terrorists in Syria and Iraq, killing ten civilians , including four children.