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WATCH as Russian Air Power Annihilates al-Nusra Commanders



Russian strikes on ISIS oil tankers and refinery near Raqqa

The Russian Ministry of Defense has released video from the Russian Aerospace Forces’ devastating attack on al-Nusra Front leaders.

On Wednesday, Ministry of Defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov confirmed that the airstrike had killed 12 Nusra Front commanders, and severely wounded Abu Mohammad al-Julani, commander-in-chief of the Syrian militant group Tahrir al-Sham and former self-proclaimed emir of the al-Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, in Idlib province.

Al-Julani received multiple heavy fragmentation wounds and lost a hand, leaving him in critical condition, according to several independent sources. Ahmad al-Ghizai, al-Julani’s close aid and head of security, was also killed, along with about 50 militants from the commanders’ security detail, Konashenkov said.

Russian military command took the decision to carry out the strikes after receiving and confirming intelligence from multiple sources about the terrorists’ meeting.

Su-35 and Su-34 fighters and fighter-bombers participated in the operation.

The al-Nusra Front changed its name and merged with other Syrian terrorist groups to create the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist group in early 2017. However, the Russian Defense Ministry continues to refer to the group using its original name.

On Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Nusra suffered their heaviest losses to date over the last few months as they attempted to launch offensives in Syria’s western and eastern regions to stem the Syrian Army’s successful operation to liberate broad swathes of the country.

Maj. Gen. Konashenkov said the Daesh and al-Nusra offensives had been thwarted with the help of Russian air power, resulting in the death of over 2,300 Daesh militants and 16 field commanders. 67 terrorist strongholds, over two dozen tanks, 21 multiple rocket launchers, nearly 150 machine-gun equipped vehicles and 17 vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices were destroyed, along with over 50 ammunition depots, Konashenkov said.


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War zone

Israel Destroys Syrian Air Defence Battery After Alleged ‘Shelling’



The IDF has cited its right to “thwart hostilities towards Israeli population”. The incident comes as the latest in a string of tit-for-tat attacks between Damascus and Tel Aviv that remain in a state of war for decades.
The Israeli Air Force has announced that its military jets destroyed an anti-aircraft battery east of the Syrian capital of Damascus on October 16. The incident has not yet been confirmed by the Syrian government.

According to the IDF, the “retaliatory” move came after Israeli jets had been targeted with an anti-aircraft missile launched from the Syrian territory. The military’s spokesperson has said that no hits had been confirmed. The jets were carrying out a routine reconnaissance mission over Lebanon.

While the IDF has blamed the Syrian government for the incident, it has yet again stated it “maintains its ability to thwart hostilities against Israeli civilians.” According to one of the heads of the Israeli military’s press service, Tel Aviv has also notified Russia that has a military presence Syria of the airstrike in real time.

“The Russians were notified in real time, or maybe just before [the attack],” the military official said. However, the IDF said that it “has no intention to destabilize the situation.”

In September Israeli jets attacked the Syrian army in the Hama province, however the IDF refused to comment on the incident. Israel and Syria have exchanged numerous tit-for-tat attacks over the disputed area of Golan Hights, seized by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967.

The move has been repeatedly condemned by the international community. According to the UN resolution adopted in 1981, the Golan Heights were declared as illegally occupied by Israel. In 2008, the United Nations reitterated its calls for Tel Aviv to return the ‘annexed territory’ — something that, according to the incumbent PM Benyamin Netanyahu, “Israel will never do”.

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War zone

Syrian Democratic Forces Begin Final Assault on ISIS in Raqqa



The US-backed Syrian rebels have announced the final stage of their operation to free the former so-called ISIS “capital,” Raqqa, from terrorists.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said that they have started the final assault on Raqqa after the evacuation of civilians and Daesh terrorists, who agreed to leave the city.

“The battle will continue until the whole city is clean of the terrorists who refused to surrender, including the foreign fighters,” a statement by the SDF said on Sunday.

Earlier, the US-led coalition announced that an agreement has been reached to evacuate civilians from Raqqa. After a convoy with evacuees left the former “capital” of ISIS terrorist group, the final battle with remaining terrorists began. Reuters reported citing a militia spokesman that 275 Daesh fighters from Syria left Raqqa, according to the agreement, while 200-300 militants mostly of foreign origin remained in the city.

“We still expect there to be difficult fighting,” US-led coalition’s spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon said.

A source in the Syrian Democratic Forces that are conducting the Raqqa operation on the ground with the coalition’s support, told Sputnik on Friday that the city is set to be liberated from militants within 2-3 days. The source added that the strength of the terrorists is running out; their defeats in Raqqa have undermined their morale and prevent them from fighting back. According to SDF representatives, the Syrian rebels currently control about 90 percent of Raqqa.

Raqqa has been under ISIS control since 2013. On November 6, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, also consisting of Arab, Assyrian and Turkmen fighters, among others, announced the start of the military operation to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa from Daesh terrorist group with the assistance of the US-led coalition’s airstrikes. Raqqa’s Old City was freed from Daesh last month.

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