As we predicted this earlier this month, more than five years into Syria’s civil war, Turkey, the country that has most helped the rebellion against the rule of Bashar al-Assad, has hinted it may move to normalise relations with Damascus.
The suggestion made by the Turkish prime minister, Binali Yıldırım, on Wednesday this week, stunned the Syrian opposition leadership, which Ankara hosts, as well as regional leaders, who had allied with Turkey in their push to oust Assad over a long, unforgiving war.
Syria’s Kurds are allied politically with the Kurds of south-eastern Turkey, who are embroiled with Ankara in a new phase of the 40-year guerrilla war. To Ankara, Kurdish expansionism is a greater threat to its interests than the survival of Assad.
- The United States offers Russia new partnership regarding the Syrian Civil War and Terrorism
U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolveofficials reported
Kerry’s trip, his second to Moscow this year, comes amid a worsening of U.S.-Russian ties due to tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions (see previous article), U.S. allegations of aggressive Russian maneuvers toward U.S. aircraft and vessels and what Washington has said is a disregard for a cessation of hostilities in Syria, where Russia has bombed U.S.-backed rebels.
According to Reuters and Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on Thursday, 14th of July, to present him the new ideas of offering a broad new military partnership in Syria, hoping the attraction of a unified campaign against the Islamic State group and al-Qaida and as well a Russian commitment to ground Syria’s bombers which could end five years of civil war. If finalized, the deal could dramatically change the US role in the conflict.
Why the U.S. Military Can’t Fix Syria https://t.co/L2QlWWxTF9
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) 14 juillet 2016
The eight-page proposal, It is a pact Moscow long had wanted, but the Obama administration resisted. The U.S. is proposing closer military coordination involving airstrikes against militant groups Nusra Front and Islamic State in Syria and wants Moscow in turn to use its influence to ground Syria’s air force, which has defied a cease-fire agreement to continue pounding civilian population centers.
For the Syrian President Bashar Assad, The United States is not really interested in defeating terrorists in Syria as it really wants “to control and use them,” as he told NBC News in an exclusive interview, denouncing the US air strikes as “counterproductive.”
- Airstrikes continue to kill people as 12 people at least killed in Syria’s Rebel-Held Aleppo
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 12 people, including seven women and children, were killed when airstrikes hit the Salheen and Tariq al-Bab districts, in the rebel-held parts of Aleppo city. The Local Coordination Committees, another anti-government monitoring group, said five children were among those killed in Tariq al-Bab neighborhood.
- First Aid Convoy in a Month Reaches Besieged Area of Syria’s Homs
In late June, The United Nations estimated that 5 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid and are living in hard-to-reach areas, nearly a million more than the previous figure because of increased insecurity.
On Thursday, an international aid convoy reached the besieged town of al-Waer in the central Homs province, bringing aid to 75,000 people, including flour, medical supplies, water and sanitation material. A total of 19 trucks carrying wheat flour, medical items and water and sanitation material arrived in a joint convoy of the United Nations, the Syrian Red Cresecent and the ICRC according to sources.
- Islamic State fighters say bring down Syrian jet
Islamic State fighters brought down a Syrian jet near the eastern city of Deir al-Zor on Thursday, a monitoring group and an agency linked to the radical militant group said.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Islamic State had targeted and brought down the plane in the Thardah hills, about 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Deir al-Zor military airport.
Islamic State controls most of the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, though forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad hold the airport and part of Deir al-Zor city on the Euphrates river.
Meanwhile, two Israeli Arab men were indicted on Thursday in Nazareth District Court for plotting to join up with ISIS in Syria, as well as offenses ranging from contact with a foreign agent, illegal possession of weapons.
- ISIS says its ‘minister of war’ killed in Iraq, despite reports he died in Syria
The terror group’s Aamaq news agency reported that al-Shishani was “martyred” in the town of al-Shirqat, near Mosul, while helping to “halt the military campaign” against the ISIS-held city.
The confirmation of Abu Umar al-Shishani’s death comes months after U.S. and Iraqi officials, as well as Syrian activists, said in March that he had died of wounds sustained in a U.S. airstrike in Syria.
- After Losing Supply Route, al-Qaeda Attacks Govt-Held Districts in Aleppo
Heavy airstrikes from the Syrian military kept al-Qaeda’s forces from making any serious gainsinto the government-held districts, though locals within a Christian neighborhood noted many homes were damaged by al-Qaeda shellling.
Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which was excluded from the February ceasefire in Syria, used the relative calm to push deep into the area around Aleppo, capturing a number of villages and ultimately taking about half of the city itself. They and the military have been trading fire for months in the area to little effect.
- Links regarding the Syrian Civil War war updates:
Syria: The 21st-Century Disaster: Open Source
By all accounts, ISIL, the Islamic State, is losing territory. However, it seems to be stepping up terrorist attacks, especially in Iraq. Baghdad has been hit with a string of bombings over the last few months, including the deadliest attack since the American-led invasion in 2003. Iraqi forces recently retook the city of Fallujah, which is just about an hour from Baghdad by road but ISIS also controls Mosul, which is Iraq’s second largest city, which is – would seem to be really key to its place in the country.
— Zaid Benjamin (@zaidbenjamin) 14 juillet 2016
- Iraq holds military parade in central Baghdad, seen as show of force
Marking the 14th of July coup that overthrew Iraq’s monarchy in 1958 Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi oversaw a military parade in central Baghdad where he praised his army’s latest victories against the Islamic State (ISIS).
- US signs military aid deal with Iraq’s Kurdish fighters
The United States has signed a deal with the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq to provide the Kurds with further military and financial support in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.
- Iraq: Suicide bombing in Baghdad Shiite district kills 11 amid other Terrorist attacks
A suicide car bombing ripped through an outdoor market in a Shiite-dominated northeastern district of Baghdad on Tuesday morning 12th of July, killing at least 11 people, officials said, as government forces deployed in most of the Iraqi capital and closed off major roads around the city.
The developments came on the heels of two large-scale attacks claimed by the Islamic State group that killed more than 300 people last week. On Monday, visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Washington will send 560 more troops to Iraq to help battle IS. Meanwhile, Peshmerga units in northern Iraq remain on guard against members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
In Baghdad, a suicide bomber targeted a checkpoint in Rashidiya left eight dead and 23 wounded. A bomb killed one and wounded seven in Nahrawan. Three people were killed and nine were wounded in another attack. A doctor was killed in a sticky bomb attack.
Two Peshmerga were killed and another was wounded during a rocket attack onDaquq.
A rocket attack on Ijhala left one cameraman dead and a reporter wounded.
Airstrikes left 55 militants dead in Sheikh Ali village.
Security forces in Sharqat killed 24 militants and wounded 19 more.
Fifteen militants were killed and 30 were wounded in strikes on Bakara village and near Hawija General Hospital.
In Hawija, a strike killed 17 militants.
Turkish artillery fire killed about a dozen militants in Fadiliya and Shalalat.
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) 13 juillet 2016