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Russia retaliates for shot down jet over US-backed rebel area of Syria

Al-Nusra known to be one of the forces controlling Idlib province; Russians retaliate with precision strike, killing an estimated 30 militants

Seraphim Hanisch

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Originally appeared at RussiaFeed.com

A Russian Su-25 warplane was shot down over Syria’s Idlib province in northwestern Syria on Saturday. The pilot safely ejected from his plane, but he was killed by militants on the ground.  This report, corroborated by the Russian Defense Ministry and RIA Novosti specifies events this way (translated and edited from Russian):

Over the area controlled by the terrorist group Jebhat an Nusra in the province of Idlib, the launch of a MANPADS missile against a Russian Su-25 was carried out. In response to this incident, a strike accomplished with precision weapons against a group of more than 30 rebels affiliated with the group Djebhat Al-Nusra.

On Saturday evening, militants with the help of MANPADS shot down the Russian Air Force attack aircraft. The pilot of the plane managed to eject, but died in battle with terrorists.

The Russian Center for Reconciliation of Warring Parties in Syria, together with representatives of Turkey responsible for the de-escalation zone of Idlib, is taking measures to return the body of the Russian pilot.

Kurdish self-defense forces Afrina (KSS) expressed condolences in connection with the death of the pilot. ‘I think everyone understands who supports those terrorist groups.The groups in Idlib are besieged and can be supported only from Turkey,’ KSS spokesman Reisan Hedu said.

https://youtu.be/W79EFiJPqCg

 

According to him, the death of the pilot ‘in the hands of the same terrorists’ who are guilty of the death of Kurdish soldiers. ‘We lit candles in memory of the Russian pilot, just as we light candles in memory of the dead Kurds,’ he added.

At the same time, according to the deputy chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee Yury Shvytkin, the incident with the shot down Su-25 ’causes an unconditional need for an investigation.’ He explained that until today there was no case when the terrorists used MANPADS.

Shvytkin suggested that the anti-aircraft missile system terrorists received from representatives of the West.

The Al-Nusra Front is known to be operating in this region, under the alias of the Free Syrian Army.  The technologically advanced use of MANPADS raises questions about the USA’s history of supplying weapons to Al-Nusra, treating them as a “nice” Al-Qaeda group worthy of at least covert support.

The Russians did not sit by without a response.  In quick response a precision strike took place, believed to have killed some 30 terrorists, those believed responsible for the downing of the Su-25 and the killing of its pilot.

The story on this incident is still developing, but it could represent a significant escalation towards greater confrontation between US-supported forces and Russian forces in the region.

It is a very complicated situation with many groups fighting Syria’s legitimate government under Bashir al-Assad, the Kurds, the Turkish, ISIS, each other… the lines go in so many directions it is hard to track, and for this, a lot of blame rests with the United States for trying to use enemy forces as allies for the sake of expedience.

We will follow this story closely to see if the same sort of thing has happened here.

 

 

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Russia sends more goodies to help Assad in upcoming offensive against ISIS

The Russian military is expected to beef up the Syrian forces to launch the long-awaited offensive against jihadi militants in Idlib province.

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As the last jihadi controlled areas in southwestern Syria have been liberated by the Syrian government, the Russians are literally sending a boatload of fresh military goodies to help Bashar al-Assad cleanse his nation of jihadist radicals. A Russian cargo ship is on the way to Tartus loaded with military aid to help Assad in an upcoming operation against ISIS and other Western propped ‘moderate’ radicals in the Idlib province.

Almasdar reports

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (6:00 P.M.) – Russia never ceased to provide the Syrian government with all kinds of military aid as the Syrian Armed Forces achieve massive wins across the country.

Russian cargo ship Tapir class LST Orsk 148 was spotted crossing the Mediterranean Bosporus en route to Syria’s Tartus; carrying military cargo.

The Russian military is expected to beef up the Syrian forces to launch the long-awaited offensive against jihadi militants in Idlib province.

Meanwhile, the last ISIS-controlled pocket in southwestern Syria has been liberated by the government troop.

With Russia’s help, Assad has been successfully liberating his country’s territory from the occupation of radical, tyrannical, jihadist terrorists, who are often funded, armed, and trained by Western governments in a bid to destabilize the Middle Eastern country and to set it up for regime change or to stage some kind of partition through political maneuvering under the guise of peace plans. Either way, Russia’s assistance has been pivotal in the war, and it has been paying huge dividends for Syria.

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Amesbury poisoning: what we know so far

If they want to turn this into another blame Russia case, the timing couldn’t be worse.

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The good news at this point is that the brits haven’t started pointing fingers at Russia yet.  The couple have no known history or background that would point to a reason as to why anybody would single them out for such an attack. Some of the theories floated around at this point in time are that they could have been exposed to remnants of Novichok from the Skripal event. I personally find this a bit silly as the nerve agent Novichok degrades rather quickly, even if it is in a sealed off environment.

BBC reports

The couple, believed to be Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44, fell ill at a house in Amesbury on Saturday and remain in a critical condition.

Police say no one else has presented with the same symptoms.

There was “nothing in their background” to suggest the pair were targeted, the Met Police said.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said it could not be confirmed whether the nerve agent came from the same batch that Mr Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, were exposed to.

But he said the possibility was “clearly a line of enquiry”.

Mr Basu said no contaminated items had yet been found, but officers were putting together a “very detailed examination of [the couple’s] movements” in order to determine where they were poisoned.

He added that members of the public should not pick anything up if they don’t know what it is.

“We have no idea what may have contained the nerve agent at this time,” he said.

The Counter Terrorism Policing Network is now leading the investigation, working with Wiltshire Police.

The BBC’s security correspondent Gordon Corera said: “The most likely hypothesis is that this is leftover Novichok from the attack on the Skripals back in March.”

Chemical weapons expert Richard Guthrie said it was possible that the Novichok which poisoned the Skripals may have been disposed of “in a haphazard way”.

If the couple had come across it in a syringe or pot, it might have been better preserved, he told BBC Breakfast.
England’s chief medical officer, Sally Davies, said: “I want to reassure the public that the risk to the general public remains low.”

The Skripal episode meant officials had a “well-established response” in place, she said.

“As before, my advice is to wash your clothes and wipe down any personal items, shoes and bags, with cleansing or baby wipes before disposing of them in the usual way.

“You do not need to seek advice from a health professional unless you are experiencing symptoms, as any individual who had been significantly exposed at the same time would by now have symptoms.”
On Saturday, paramedics were called twice to the property in Amesbury – in the morning, after Ms Sturgess had collapsed, then later the same day, after Mr Rowley had also fallen unwell.

“It was initially believed that the two patients fell ill after using possibly heroin or crack cocaine from a contaminated batch of drugs,” Wiltshire Police said.

The news that Novichok was to blame was announced following analysis at the defence research facility at Porton Down, Wiltshire.

As a precautionary measure, sites in Amesbury and Salisbury, believed to have been visited by the couple before they fell ill, have been cordoned off.

There is no evidence to suggest either visited the sites that were decontaminated following the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Local residents have been warned to expect to see an increased police presence – including officers wearing protective equipment.
Security correspondent Gordon Corera said the poisoning was “hugely significant” as the public “will be worried about public health”.

He added: “Perhaps this is some of the Novichok prepared for the attack [in Salisbury in March] and discarded – maybe somewhere like a park, a house – and maybe these two came across it.”

He added it could give counter-terrorism investigators new leads on where the nerve agent was “brought and put together” before the attack on the Skripals.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said his thoughts were with the two individuals affected and thanked the emergency services and staff at Salisbury District Hospital.

He said the events follow “the reckless and barbaric attack which took place in Salisbury in March”.

“The government’s first priority is for the safety of the residents in the local area but as Public Health England has made clear, the risk to the general public is low,” he said.

“Tomorrow [Thursday] I will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee Cobra in relation to the ongoing investigation.”

Only time will tell where this will go. If they want to turn this into another blame Russia case, the timing couldn’t be worse. Right in the middle of the World Cup and the meeting between Trump and Putin right around the corner. Let us hope for the recovery of the victims and that no more cases of this occur

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Breaking: Amesbury Police confirm novichok used to poison couple

It is amazing that a stunt like this is being pulled again

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Taken from the Salisbury Journal

A MAN and woman in critical condition in hosital were exposed to the same nerve agent used to poison the Skripal, police have confirmed.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu confirmed the substance was Novichok.

Details to follow

 

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