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Old 05-18-2017   #261
OUTLAW 09
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Brig Gen wounded in IS attack NE of #Salamiya. Amaq now claiming Aqrab & Mabujah taken, fighting in Sabourah. #Syria
http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35...rch=salamiyah#
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Old 05-18-2017   #262
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Azor..have been trying to tell you that Europe is not matching to the Trump Syrian drumbeat as they have been already active in Syria...APPEARS Trump did not realize this...PLUS they honestly see "mission creep" on the part of the US...

Quote:
France and Germany are resisting a plan by U.S. officials for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, in line with calls from President Donald Trump for the alliance to do more to combat terrorism.
Many alliance members hope the plan will be announced in Brussels next Thursday, when Trump attends his first NATO summit. But France and Germany have misgivings, allies involved in the discussions said.
Among the concerns: NATO might be caught up in another costly, Afghan-style deployment, irk some Arab countries or risk confrontation with Russia in Syria.
"They are not buying it," said a senior European NATO diplomat, who said some other nations including Greece and Italy were also wary of the plan.
"They want to know what difference would it make. All 28 NATO allies are already part of this effort," the diplomat said, referring to a 68-nation U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State that includes all NATO members.
French and German officials declined to comment, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel left open the possibility of NATO as an institution joining the coalition when she met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg last week. Both ruled out any combat role for NATO in Syria and Iraq.
France's new President Emmanuel Macron will have lunch with Trump - who last month withdrew his earlier charge that NATO was 'obsolete' because it was not 'taking care of terror' - before the Brussels meeting next Thursday.
While Islamic State is on the verge of defeat in its Iraqi stronghold of Mosul, and bracing for an assault against its de facto capital in Raqqa, Syria, U.S. officials are concerned fleeing militants could leave a vacuum that could prompt Arab tribal fighters to turn on each other to gain control.
U.S. officials say the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as an institution could contribute equipment, training and the expertise it gained leading a coalition against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. NATO military chiefs favor the move, said General Petr Pavel, chairman of the alliance's military committee.
Diplomats said this could mean NATO using its surveillance planes over Syria, running command-and-control operations and providing air-to-air refueling.

SYMBOLIC STEP
One compromise would be for NATO as an institution to formally join the coalition at the dinner with Trump next week, but leave the details of any involvement to a later stage.
"If allies can be convinced that it is only a symbolic step, a deal should be possible," said a second NATO diplomat. "Trump goes home with a message that NATO is joining the coalition and NATO doesn't have to do anything extra, at least for now."
Also In Middle East & North Africa
U.N. says 200,000 more people could flee Mosul as fighting intensifies
World Court orders Pakistan to delay execution of alleged Indian spy
A broader hesitancy among European allies stems from the long mission that NATO has undertaken in Afghanistan, taking over the United States' bid to defeat militants in 2003 after the attacks on New York and Washington two years earlier.
Given Russia's concerns over NATO expansion in eastern Europe, and its role in Syria as the key military ally of President Bashar al-Assad, some allies also worry that deeper NATO involvement there could be taken by Moscow as a provocation.
But a stronger role in Iraq and Syria could also address concerns expressed by Mediterranean allies, such as Spain, Italy and Portugal, that NATO lacks a strategy for tackling the root causes of the migrant and refugee crisis.
Stoltenberg has talked about NATO's "untapped potential" in building up armed forces. Options include more NATO training of Iraqi troops and police, as well as strengthening government departments in areas taken back from Islamic State.
"NATO is the only security organization with the skills and breadth to take on this task," wrote Hans Binnendijk and David Gompert in a paper for the U.S. think-tank RAND Corporation.
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Old 05-18-2017   #263
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Aleppo: #ISIS has killed #Assad "Tiger Forces" commander Mohamed Al-Barudi in Eastern #Aleppo yesterday.
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Old 05-18-2017   #264
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More on the regime's push against al-Tanf:
https://www.ft.com/content/42aa4308-...-6027b8a20f23#

Coalition apparently hitting Assad regime near al-Tanf base where US SOF and anti-ISIS rebels located.

Sources say the U.S. airstrike took place about 30mins from the U.S.-UK SOF base in al-Tanf.
If U.S. confirms, this is a *big* deal.

BIG - Opposition sources: U.S. jets *did* conduct an airstrike on a pro-#Assad convoy & FSA’s Maghawir al-Thowra followed up on the ground.


Syria opposition sources claim U.S. or coalition jets struck an #Assad regime convoy on the #Baghdad-#Damascus highway - 1 tank destroyed.

Correction: 4 tanks, 8 technicals with AA guns & 4 picups destroyed (by US airstrikes & TOWs)

Coalition strikes allegedly destroyed Assad army convoy in Zarqa crossroad ~30 km from UK/US backed FSA al-Tanf base on Syria-Jordan borders

Syria: #US airstrikes wiped out #Assad regime convoy north of #Al_Tanf. Dozens of #Assad forces killed. Tanks, Shilkas, trucks destroyed.
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Old 05-18-2017   #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
More on the regime's push against al-Tanf:
https://www.ft.com/content/42aa4308-...-6027b8a20f23#

Coalition apparently hitting Assad regime near al-Tanf base where US SOF and anti-ISIS rebels located.

Sources say the U.S. airstrike took place about 30mins from the U.S.-UK SOF base in al-Tanf.
If U.S. confirms, this is a *big* deal.

BIG - Opposition sources: U.S. jets *did* conduct an airstrike on a pro-#Assad convoy & FSA’s Maghawir al-Thowra followed up on the ground.


Syria opposition sources claim U.S. or coalition jets struck an #Assad regime convoy on the #Baghdad-#Damascus highway - 1 tank destroyed.

Correction: 4 tanks, 8 technicals with AA guns & 4 picups destroyed (by US airstrikes & TOWs)

Coalition strikes allegedly destroyed Assad army convoy in Zarqa crossroad ~30 km from UK/US backed FSA al-Tanf base on Syria-Jordan borders

Syria: #US airstrikes wiped out #Assad regime convoy north of #Al_Tanf. Dozens of #Assad forces killed. Tanks, Shilkas, trucks destroyed.
So it might be US jets bombed Assad's forces just before Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia. Interesting timing.

Sources say U.S. strikes & FSA follow-up attack (w. TOW missiles) destroyed 4 #Assad regime tanks, several trucks & a ZSU-23-4 “Shilka"
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Old 05-18-2017   #266
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As pro-Assad forces is launching offensive in South Syria against US-backed forces. Rus-U.S standoff there is closer
https://syria.liveuamap.com/?zoom=9&...697509765626#…
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Old 05-18-2017   #267
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H Hassan حسن حسن

@hxhassan
The US response to the pro-Iran militias' attacks against the US-backed rebels is an important shift, that Obama officials typically avoided

.@BuzzFeedNews's story with US confirmation and details on its airstrikes on pro-regime forces in S. Syria today
https://www.buzzfeed.com/nancyyousse...D2#.cga8x2Zo9#

Raises Qs reg (1) US willingness to defend gains in Syria, (2) loyalist willingness to escalate, (3) potential for retribution in Iraq

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Old 05-18-2017   #268
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Russian media starting to denounce US Syria strike: tabloid Komsomol Pravda calls it "manifestation of aggression"
http://www.kp.ru/online/news/2749460/#

Trump is also signaling to Iran in advance of his Gulf trip: containment is back.

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Old 05-18-2017   #269
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Strikes probably conducted against IRGC-led Iraqi Shia Jihadi militia Kata'ib Imam Ali, which was very active in the area in past days.

Al-Tanf defense is integrally linked to Iran seeking to interdict Baghdad-Damascus highway

It's more important than last month's strike against air base as it's the first time US provides air support to rebels vs regime
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Old 05-18-2017   #270
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Iran-backed militias receive coalition air support in Iraq, air raids in Syria

@AFP #SYRIA: US official tells @AFP the convoy did not respond to numerous requests not to get too close to coalition forces at Tanaf

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Old 05-18-2017   #271
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Also the coastal Iran backed unit Liwa al-Mukhtar travelled via Homs to Palmyra on the 10th but then went back south to Qalamoun yesterday.
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Old 05-18-2017   #272
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Kyle Orton

@KyleWOrton
The crunch moment, when #Iran's proxies—whom we empowered to "defeat" #IS—turn on us, is nearly here.
http://bit.ly/2riAsE6

Quote:
Latest reports about increased U.S. military activities on Jordan’s norther border – coupled with the Trump administration’s ongoing talks with Baghdad about the prospect of keeping American troops in Iraq after the defeat of the Islamic State – have triggered alarm in Tehran. The Iranian media – particularly outlets affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.) – have been speculating that the U.S. military buildup along the borders of Syria and Iraq are part of a broader effort by Washington and its allies to counter Iran’s regional ambitions. As a result, the I.R.G.C. and its regional proxies are taking “preemptive” measures to "foil" the U.S. "scheme."
Growing concern
On May 17, the I.R.G.C.-affiliated Fars News Agency warned that the United States and its allies are preparing for a “sensitive war” along the Syrian-Iraqi borders to achieve two key goals: 1) to prevent Iran – and by extension China – from carving a land route to the Mediterranean Sea via Syria and Iraq; and 2) to block Tehran’s “strategic supply lines” crucial to helping the “resistance front” through Syria. Iranian leaders use the term "resistance front" for Tehran's regional armed proxies that fight Israel, the United States and Iran's other perceived enemies in the region.
“When America orders its allies to mobilize and escalates threats in the region, it means that the war in Iraq and Syria is not over,” the I.R.G.C. outlet stressed, adding that the Syrian Army and the Iran-supported Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (P.M.F.] has a long and difficult journey before reaching the shared borders between Syria and Iraq and clear and hold the regions along the way.
It further argued that the latest regional developments are not “coincidental” and point to a calculated plan by Washington and its allies to step up their game in Syria and Iraq at the expense of Iranian interests.
These recent developments, according to F.N.A., includes the U.S. allegations that Damascus is incinerating the corpses of executed prisoners; the Israeli minister’s call for the assassination of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; objections to the Russia-sponsored de-escalation zones in Syria; increased U.S. air strikes in Syria; Syrian opposition groups’ threat to boycott peace talks; and the U.S. military buildup along the border of the Iraqi Kurdistan.
Tabnak News Agency, which is run by former I.R.G.C. commander Mohsen Rezaei, echoed a similar warning. “There are increased activities in southern Syria that indicate preparations for an attack through Jordan and Israel and [with the help of] armed group.”
I.R.G.C.’s countermeasures
To counter the perceived threat from the United States and its regional allies, Iran has mobilized its proxy forces in both Syria and Iraq for two objectives: to seize the control of strategic regions along the Syrian-Iraqi border from the Islamic State and to challenge the presence of American troops and U.S.-backed Syrian and Iraqi groups in the region.
In Syria, according to Fars News Agency., the I.R.G.C. has in recent days deployed more than a 1,000 fighters - mostly from the Lebanese Hezbollah - to two fronts in southern Syria near the border with Jordan. The I.R.G.C. and its allies hope that the deployment of additional forces to Daraa, Homs and Quneitra regions would prevent the “U.S.-backed militants” stationed in al-Tanf border crossing from moving toward Deir Ez-Zor. Fars News Agency also reported this week that the Syrian Army and Iran-backed militia forces will deploy additional forces along the Syrian-Iraqi border and will carry out joint military operations in central parts of Syria – claiming that establishment of Russian-sponsored de-escalation zones in Syria has allowed the Syrian Army and the I.R.G.C.-controlled forces to focus on other strategic regions.
Likewise in Iraq, Iran-backed militia forces have launched a new military offensive – dubbed Muhammad Rasulullah – to seize more territory from the Islamic State in western Mosul and control the land corridor from the strategic city of Tal Afar to the Syrian border. Iran and P.M.F. leaders claim that such a move would help cut off the Islamic State’s supply lines between Syria and Iraq. But some Iraqis and regional Sunni states worry that Iran and its proxies are consolidating their presence to have influence over Iraq and Syria after the Islamic State is defeated.
Access to Mediterranean Sea
As the Fars article suggests, Tehran is also attempting to establish a land corridor for access to the Mediterranean Sea by passing through Syria and Iraq. It did not elaborate on whether Iran and China planned to jointly develop such a land corridor to the Mediterranean Sea for trade purposes as well. But the commentary in the Iranian media makes it clear that the Islamic Republic sees the United States as an obstacle to its plan. On May 16, the Guardian reported that that Iran had changed the course of its planned land corridor to the Mediterranean coast as a result of an increasing U.S. military presence in northeastern Syria. The new route is said to be passing through Mayadin – a town currently occupied by the Islamic State in eastern Syria – instead of Kurdish areas in northeastern Syria where the U.S. military has reportedly been beefing up presence.
Collision course
In the past year, the U.S. military and Iran-backed militia groups have been de facto allies in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq. But now that the common enemy is on the brink of defeat, Tehran and Washington increasingly appear to be on a collision course in both Syria and Iraq.
In the past month, Iran and its proxies have already turned their attention to undermine the U.S. military presence in Iraq and Syria. Iran-controlled Iraqi militia groups have recently dialed up propaganda against the U.S. military by accusing it of aiding the Islamic State and pressuring the Baghdad government to “expel” American troops advising the Iraqi security forces in Mosul and across the country.
Michael Weiss

@michaeldweiss
Reuters says US/UK Special Forces are expanding al-Tanf. Conforms to what @hxhassan and I suggested months ago:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ge-syria.html#

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Old 05-18-2017   #273
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2 Pakistanis of #IRGC's Zainebiyoun brigade killed in Syria, buried today in Qom, Iran.

It's Assad army and Iran-backed militias who started the offensive against UK/US backed FSA early May to take al-Tanf and Syria-Iraq borders

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Old 05-18-2017   #274
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CJTF-OIR has also now claimed that Russia attempted to intercede to stop the advance of the pro-regime convoy's advance.

Unconfirmed reports that as many as 50 killed in @CJTFOIR coalition attack on Syrian regime and Iranian militia near Syrian Jordanian border
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Old 05-18-2017   #275
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US says #Russia tried to restrain #Iran-backed militias near al-Tanf, but failed.
Lesson - #Moscow has no leverage over #Iran/#Assad.

This statement highlights the major limitations of Russian influence over Assad. Despite its image, Moscow in many ways a spectator in Syria
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Old 05-18-2017   #276
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BREAKING: US coalition strike on #SyrianArmy occurred within an established safe zone
https://sptnkne.ws/eyED#

And right on queue, Sputnik follows with implication that US violated some sort of intl law or agreement, instead of unilateral "safe zone"
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Old 05-18-2017   #277
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#Syria: #Iran & #Assad regime are hyping the "huge border battle" against #FSA since weeks
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Old 05-18-2017   #278
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Area where Syrian regime struck by US is same region where Russia struck closely US-backed rebels last year. Major signal to Moscow​.

Hours ago, the #IRGC-linked Fars News reported 3,000 #Hezbollah fighters “deployed” to the “al-Tanf region” to thwart “a U.S. plot.”

U.S media needs to *wake up*:
- Multiple U.S. airstrikes just *purposely* took out an #Iran/#Hezbollah/#Assad convoy in SE #Syria.


US has now clearly shown it will *not* allow Assad regime + allies to reach Iraqi border. No hope of establishing land supply corridor.
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Old 05-18-2017   #279
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Kurdish PYD making arrangements for governance of Raqqa. Unlikely to sit well with the city's Arab tribes.

pyd rojava‏#
@PYD_Rojava
Folgen
After the establishment of Raqqa Civilian Council, today the first security forces (male and female) for #Raqqa were announced .
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Old 05-19-2017   #280
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For the doubters #SyAAF Mig-29SM armed with the R-77 AA missile.
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