MESOPOTAMIA NEWS Syria Daily: Israel Strikes Again Near Damascus Airport — Assad Regime Media

Israel has fired missiles again inside Syria, this time near Damascus International Airport, according to the Assad regime’s media.Unconfirmed reports said Israeli warplanes targeted an arms depot where new weapons recently arrived for Hezbollah or Iranian-led forces.As usual, the regime claimed that it had repelled the attack. A military official said, “Our air defenses responded to an Israeli missile attack on Damascus international airport and shot down a number of hostile missiles.”

An AFP correspondent in Damascus reported a loud blast late Saturday, followed by several smaller explosions. Video showed at least one explosion.One observer speculated that the attack might have been a “suicide drone” to lure regime air defenses.There were no reports of casualties or damage.

Israel has attacked periodically inside throughout the 90-month conflict, with the Israel Defense Forces acknowledging earlier this month acknowledged that they have conducted airstrikes on 202 targets

Initially the Israelis focused on disrupting weapons transfers from Iran to Hezbollah, and on preventing a Hezbollah and Iranian presence in southwest Syria near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. In the past year, strikes have expanded — including on regime bases with a significant Iranian presence — in support of the Netanyahu Government’s
demand for the withdrawal of all Iran or Iranian-led personnel.In April, Israel carried out its most widespread attacks inside Syria since the early 1980s.

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Kyle Orton‏Verified account @KyleWOrton A bit too much focus on the Sunni jihadi threat in Idlib, an entirely secondary consideration to setting back #Iran#Russia. But overall thesis surely correct: U.S. should align with #Turkey to stop the pro-Asad forces assaulting Idlib.

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS TODAYS STRATEGY READER : Turkey & the United States Should Work Together to Avert Disaster in Idlib

Despite their differences, Trump and Erodgan share an interest in avoiding a new humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. – By Ilan Goldenberg, Nicholas A. HerasFOREIGN POLICY – | September 14, 2018,

Over the weekend, the Bashar al-Assad regime announced the start of its campaign to retake Syria’s Idlib province—a region home to an estimated 3 million people, including around 1 million displaced from other parts of Syria. Despite years of failed policies, the United States still has tools at its disposal to mitigate what could be a coming humanitarian catastrophe on a larger scale than even the one in Aleppo.

The first challenge with Idlib is that it has become a depository for Assad regime opponents from all over Syria.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : Syria Daily – 10,000s in Idlib Rallies Against Russia-Regime Offensive

UPDATE 0915 GMT: Turkey has bolstered its line against any Russian-Assad offensive, bringing a total of about 50 vehicles, including tanks and other armor, to two of its 12 observation posts around Idlib, northern Hama, and western Aleppo Province.

The reinforcements were deployed south of Jisr al-Shughour in northwest Idlib and in northern Hama — both areas expected to be among the first attacked by any Russian-regime assault.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: For the third Friday in a row, tens of thousands of Syrians have rallied across Idlib Province, in the northwest of the country, against a Russian-Assad regime offensive to overrun the area.The demonstrations, said to be the largest since almost of Idlib was taken by the opposition in 2015, were held in more than two dozen towns and villages. They promoted the Syrian Revolution and welcomed the Turkish political and military line that has staved off Moscow and Damascus.

In Ma’arat al-Num’an alone, 25,000 people gathered after Friday prayers, according to local sources.

“We want to send a message to the rest of the world that we are just an oppressed people who want freedom,” said Mahmoud Harkawi, who works in a printing house. “Our goal is the to.ling of the Assad regime and stopping Russian aggression on our city.”

Ahmad al-Youssef, a carer providing psychological support to children, explained, “The demonstration aimed to prove to the international community, Russia and the regime that this is a popular revolution and not terrorism, as they claim.”

In Idlib city, there were rival demonstrations. The larger, with more than 5,000 people, at the Martyrs’ Square featured the Syrian Revolution flag and slogans against the Assad regime. The smaller at the Clock Square was marked by flags for the jihadist bloc Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.

Rebel factions and local councils have been in conflict with HTS, which controls part of Idlib Province after pushing out rebels in 2017. Russia has used HTS as the “terrorist” pretext to attack Idlib, while Turkey is proposing a resolution in which other groups are supported to take control away from the jihadists.

During last Friday’s protests in Idlib city, HTS members opened fire on protesters after they shouted slogans against group. No incidents were reported yesterday.


Photos: Mohammed al-Daher/Al Jazeera

Holding Off the Offensive

Russia and the Assad regime had built up their forces for the assault on Idlib, which has an estimated 3 million people, and northern Hama Provinces. But Ankara has had military forces alongside rebels in the northwest since August 2016, and it fears an attack which — according to the UN — would be a “humanitarian catastrophe” and displace up to 800,000 residents. Last weekend Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, having failed to reach agreement at a summit with Russian and Iranian counterparts days earlier, wrote, “A regime assault would…create serious humanitarian and security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and beyond.”

There has been Russian or Assad regime bombing and shelling since Monday.

On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Erdoğan will meet President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.

“We are ready to cooperate with everyone in the fight against terror groups but the killing of civilians, women and children under the guise of fighting against terror is not correct,” Çavuşoğlu said during a press conference in Pakistan.

And after a meeting between representatives of Turkey, France, Germany, and Russia, President Erdoğan’s spokesman İbrahim Kalın said, “Everyone’s common point is that the solution must be political rather than military. Turkey expects more open and direct support from international community and leaders.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov tried to maintain a pretext for bombing, saying that Moscow will attack “terrorist” drone workshops: “We have intelligence information where drones are assembled in Idlib from components smuggled there. As soon as we get such information, we will be eliminating such underground workshops that make lethal weapons.”

Hoping to disrupt Russian aerial operations, rebels have flown drones over Moscow’s main airbase, Hmeimim, in western Syria.


Europe Prepares for Syrian Refugee Exodus

14 Sept 2018 – The EU migration commissioner is expected to meet with top officials from Greece to discuss the transport of thousands of migrants from overcrowded Greek island camps (FT) to make space for a possible exodus from Syria. The meeting comes as Bashar al-Assad’s regime leads an assault on the rebel-held province of Idlib. More via


MESOPOTAMIA NEWS FOCUS – Schmuggel in Syrien : Gier ist stärker als Ideologie

    Von Christoph Ehrhardt , Beirut – FAZ – Aktualisiert am 14.09.2018- 

Wegzoll als begehrte Einnahmequelle: Über Kontrollpunkte wie den Murak läuft der Handel zwischen Regime- und Rebellengebieten.

In Syrien verteidigen die Rebellen ihre letzte Bastion gegen die Truppen Assads. Hinter den Kulissen aber machen beide Seiten prächtige Geschäfte miteinander – und sind immer weniger an einem Ende des Krieges interessiert.

 Was verbindet einen Schmuggelbaron, eine dschihadistische Rebellengruppe und einen Adjutanten des syrischen Regimes? Im Zweifel ist es ein lukrativer Handel. In Al Eis zum Beispiel. In dem Ort südlich der Großstadt Aleppo verdienen Männer, die im syrischen Krieg auf verschiedenen Seiten stehen, gemeinsam gutes Geld. Dort liegt ein Kontrollpunkt, durch den Waren aus den Rebellengebieten der nordwestlichen Provinz Idlib in die vom Regime kontrollierten Regionen verbracht werden – und andersherum.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : US Marines sent to Spec. Ops. base in Syria to defend against Russian attack

By Staff Writer| September 10th, 2018| POPULAR MILITARY UNITED STATES

The US military is reported to have ramped up personnel at a remote Syrian operations base after Russia informed Washington about pending attacks against militants in the region. Around 100 US Marines were scrambled aboard helicopters and flown to the Tanf-area base, which sits along Syria’s Iraq/Jordan border. The base is controlled by Syrian fighters who are currently fighting against the Islamic State, but it is also home to the US Special Forces soldiers who train the Syrians how to be better fighters.

With clear lines of communication and an uneasy peace between the two nations, Russia communicated its plans to the US several days prior to their planned operations in the area, transmitting the message on September 1.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS BACKGROUNDER : Kurds, Assyrians Split Over Syria School Curriculum

2018-09-12 21:38 GMT –AINA NEWS  AGENCY – QAMISHLI, SYRIA (AFP) — Kurdish authorities in Syria’s diverse northeast are facing swelling anger from the area’s Syriac Christians after shutting down more than a dozen schools run by the ancient minority.

At the heart of the dispute is a debate over whether to use the new school curriculum championed by the Kurdish-led autonomous administration or stick to the accredited system used by Damascus.The schism reflects the broader fissures in the northeast between those supporting formal state institutions and those defending parallel bodies developed by the Kurds.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : RUSSIA & ERDOGAN IN CONTRADICTION – : Turkey Takes Stand in Northwest Against Russia-Regime Offensive

 by Scott Lucas | Sep 13, 2018 | EAWORLDVIEW – Turkey appears to have taken a stand against an offensive by the Assad regime and Russia to reoccupy Idlib and northern Hama Provinces, the last major opposition territory in Syria, sending in heavy weapons and armor.

Ankara is the only barrier to an aerial and ground assault, threatening an estimated 3 million people. Since August 2016, it has had forces in the area, initially to push out the Islamic State and then to take most of the Kurdish canton of Afrin.

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MESOPOAMIA NEWS: BY ASHARQ AL AWSAT TODAY Over 19,000 Syrian Kurds Deprived of Citizenship, 46,000 Remain Stateless

Wednesday, 12 September, 2018 – 11:30 – Syrians for Truth and Justice, a non-governmental group, has revealed that tens of thousands of Kurds are still deprived of Syrian citizenship.

The group’s remarks were supported by an extensive report published to commemorate the 56th anniversary on the “Exceptional Census”, in the city of Hasakah, northeast of Syria.

On August 23, 1963, Republican Legislative Decree No. 93 was issued ordering that a census be carried out in the northeast Hasakah governorate, home to the highest concentration of Kurds in Syria. That is why the census was called the “Exceptional Census”, also currently known as the “Hasakah Census 1962”.

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