Last night the first photos and video came up of the destroyed Turkish convoy that arrived in the militant-controlled city of Azaz.
According to Sott.net
The town Azaz is located in the north of Syria, almost on the border with Turkey. The city is a hub, where Turkish aid (weapons, ammunition, drugs, rations etc.) are dumped off. Then with all this “help” they begin to disperse it to other cities under militant control, as well as camps and fortified places.
Turkey was expecting to make this city an absolute springboard, out of reach of Syrian army strikes. It did not happen.
Russian air force eliminated an entire column of trucks loaded with supplies intended for the militants, there since yesterday.
“In the last eight months ISIS has managed to sell … $800 million dollars worth of oil on the black market of Turkey. This is Iraqi oil and Syrian oil, carried by trucks from Iraq, from Syria through the borders to Turkey and sold …[at] less than 50 percent of the international oil price,” Mowaffak al Rubaie said in an interview with RT.
“Now this either get consumed inside, the crude is refined on Turkish territory by the Turkish refineries, and sold in the Turkish market. Or it goes to Jihan and then in the pipelines from Jihan to the Mediterranean and sold to the international market.”
“Money and dollars generated by selling Iraqi and Syrian oil on the Turkish black market is like the oxygen supply to ISIS and it’s operation,” he added. “Once you cut the oxygen then ISIS will suffocate.”
The Iraqi MP said there is “no shadow of a doubt” that the Turkish government knows about the oil smuggling operations. “The merchants, the businessmen [are buying oil] in the black market in Turkey under the noses – under the auspices if you like – of the Turkish intelligence agency and the Turkish security apparatus,” he said.
Citing Iraqi intelligence services, Mowaffak al Rubaie also accused Turkey of providing medical treatment to terrorists in hospitals along the border and at times even in “Istanbul itself.”
Russia considers ISIS oil smuggling operations to be one of the highest priority targets in crippling the terror group’s finances and capabilities. Moscow has long been requesting that Ankara properly addresses reports of its alleged involvement with ISIS oil smuggling.
President Putin himself noted that it was “hard to believe, but it is theoretically possible” that the Turkish leadership knows nothing about oil flowing into Turkey illegally. However he noted that the operations are too daring and obvious to ignore.
“Vehicles, carrying oil, lined up in a chain going beyond the horizon,” said Putin, comparing the views seen by Russian pilots and drones to a “living oil pipe” stretched from ISIS and rebel controlled areas of Syria into Turkey. “Day and night they are going to Turkey. Trucks always go there loaded, and back from there – empty,” Putin said earlier this week.
Jihadists using US-made TOW missiles against Syrian tanks
by KURT NIMMO
The Iranian news source FARS reports Syria has deployed new Russian tanks in the battle for Aleppo.
The Syrian Army’s 4th Mechanized Division has deployed their newly-arrived T-90 advanced Ttanks to the Southern Aleppo front for the first time in order to continue their push to the towns of Kafraya and Al-Fou’aa, military sources said Sunday.
The T-90s reportedly use Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor to defeat American made TOW anti-tank missiles.
It was reported last week jihadists in Syria are using TOW missiles sold to Saudi Arabia by the United States and sent to the battlefield by Turkey.
“Through the course of the battles it became apparent that the terrorists have a bigger quantity of American anti-armor TOW weapons. They started using this weapon intensively,” said a Syrian source quoted by Reuters.
“This weapon, TOW, of course affects the work of the armored divisions. Certainly, it is a well-known American weapon whose impact is known: it is effective against armored vehicles,” the source said.
“They use it heavily which indicates this weapon has become available to them.”
After Turkey shot down a Russian plane last week, jihadists used a TOW on a Russian rescue helicopter.
Russia has developed an active protection system used on its new generation of battle tank, the T-14. It uses a millimeter-wavelength radar to detect, track and intercept incoming anti-tank munitions. The Russians claim the technology confuses the guidance systems of TOW and other anti-tank missiles.
For years, NATO has granted impunity to convoys packed with supplies bound for ISIS and Al Qaeda. Russian airstrikes have stopped them dead in their tracks
NOVEMBER 29, 2015
If a legitimate, well-documented aid convoy carrying humanitarian supplies bound for civilians inside Syria was truly destroyed by Russian airstrikes, it is likely the world would never have heard the end of it.
Instead, much of the world has heard little at all about a supposed “aid” convoy destroyed near Azaz, Syria, at the very edge of the Afrin-Jarabulus corridor through which the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Qaeda’s remaining supply lines pass, and in which NATO has long-sought to create a “buffer zone” more accurately described as a Syrian-based, NATO-occupied springboard from which to launch terrorism deeper into Syrian territory.
The Turkish-based newspaper Daily Sabah reported in its article, “Russian airstrikes target aid convoy in northwestern Syrian town of Azaz, 7 killed,” claims:
At least seven people died, 10 got injured after an apparent airstrike, reportedly by Russian jets, targeted an aid convoy in northwestern Syrian town of Azaz near a border crossing with Turkey on Wednesday.
Daily Sabah also reported:
Speaking to Daily Sabah, Serkan Nergis from the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) said that the targeted area is located some 5 kilometers southwest of the Öncüpınar Border Crossing.
Nergis said that IHH has a civil defense unit in Azaz and they helped locals to extinguish the trucks. Trucks were probably carrying aid supplies or commercial materials, Nergis added.
Daily Sabah’s report also reveals that the Turkish-Syrian border crossing of Oncupinar is held by what it calls “rebels.” The border crossing of Oncupinar should be familiar to many as it was the scene of Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s (DW) investigative report where DW camera crews videotaped hundreds of trucks waiting at the border, bound for ISIS territory, apparently with full approval of Ankara.
The report was published in November of 2014, a full year ago, and revealed precisely how ISIS has been able to maintain its otherwise inexplicable and seemingly inexhaustible fighting capacity. The report titled, “‘IS’ supply channels through Turkey,” included a video and a description which read:
Every day, trucks laden with food, clothing, and other supplies cross the border from Turkey to Syria. It is unclear who is picking up the goods. The haulers believe most of the cargo is going to the “Islamic State” militia. Oil, weapons, and soldiers are also being smuggled over the border, and Kurdish volunteers are now patrolling the area in a bid to stem the supplies.
The report, and many others like it, left many around the world wondering why, if the US is willing to carry out risky military operations deep within Syrian territory to allegedly “fight ISIS,” the US and its allies don’t commit to a much less riskier strategy of securing the Turkish-Syrian border within Turkey’s territory itself – especially considering that the United States maintains an airbase, training camps, and intelligence outposts within Turkish territory and along the very border ISIS supply convoys are crossing over.
Ideally, NATO should have interdicted these supply convoys before they even crossed over into Syria – arresting the drivers and tracking those who filled the trucks back to their source and arresting them as well. Alternatively, the trucks should have been destroyed either at the border or at the very least, once they had entered into Syria and were clearly headed toward ISIS-occupied territory.
That none of this took place left many to draw conclusions that the impunity granted to this overt logistical network was intentional and implicated NATO directly in the feeding of the very ISIS terrorists it claimed to be “fighting.”
Russia Steps In
Obviously, any nation truly interested in defeating ISIS would attack it at its very source – its supply lines. Military weaponry may have changed over the centuries, but military strategy, particularly identifying and severing an enemy’s supply lines is a tried and true method of achieving victory in any conflict.
Russia, therefore, would find these convoys a natural target and would attempt to hit them as close to the Syrian-Turkish border as possible, to negate any chance the supplies would successfully reach ISIS’ hands. Russian President Vladmir Putin noted, regarding the Azaz convoy in particular, that if the convoy was legitimately carrying aid, it would have been declared, and its activities made known to all nations operating military aircraft in the region.
The trucks hit in the recent airstrikes, just as they were during the DW investigation, were carrying concrete and steel, not “milk and diapers” as the West would lead audiences to believe. That the supplies were passing through a “rebel” controlled crossing means that the supplies were surely headed to “rebel” controlled territory – either Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front in the west, or ISIS in the east.
Russian airstrikes insured that the supplies reached neither.
Strangling NATO’s Terrorists at the Border
Russia’s increased activity along the Syrian-Turkish border signifies the closing phases of the Syrian conflict. With Syrian and Kurdish forces holding the border east of the Euphrates, the Afrin-Jarabulus corridor is the only remaining conduit for supplies bound for terrorists in Syria to pass. Syrian forces have begun pushing east toward the Euphrates from Aleppo, and then will move north to the Syrian-Turkish border near Jarabulus. Approximately 90-100 km west near Afrin, Ad Dana, and Azaz, it appears Russia has begun cutting off terrorist supply lines right at the border. It is likely Syrian forces will arrive and secure this region as well.
For those that have criticized Russia’s air campaign claiming conflicts can’t be won from the air without a ground component, it should be clear by now that the Syrian Arab Army is that ground component, and has dealt ISIS and Al Qaeda its most spectacular defeats in the conflict.
When this corridor is closed and supplies cut off, ISIS, Nusra, and all associated NATO-backed factions will atrophy and die as the Syrian military restores order across the country. This may be why there has been a sudden “rush” by the West to move assets into the region, the impetus driving the United States to place special forces into Syrian territory itself, and for Turkey’s ambush of a Russian Su-24 near the Syrian-Turkish border.
What all of this adds up to is a clear illustration of precisely why the Syrian conflict was never truly a “civil war.” The summation of support for militants fighting against the Syrian government and people, has come from beyond Syria’s borders. With that support being cut off and the prospect of these militants being eradicated, the true sponsors behind this conflict are moving more directly and overtly to salvage their failed conspiracy against the Syrian state.
What we see emerging is what was suspected and even obvious all along – a proxy war started by, and fought for Western hegemonic ambitions in the region, intentionally feeding the forces of extremism, not fighting them.
The data comes from a diplomatic source in Athens, cited by RIA Novosti.
The last time Turkish warplanes were spotted in Greek airspace was on November 25, when six jets, two of them carrying weapons, entered the neighbor’s aerial domain.
Intrusions of Turkish jets into Greek national airspace remain a constant headache for Athens. Turkey and Greece, while partners in NATO, have been adversaries for centuries. The two nations have warred with each other before and still have territorial disputes.
In particular 2014 was marked with a sharp increase of Greek airspace violations by the Turkish Air Force, which amounted to 2,244 incidents. From January to October 2015, Greece’s airspace was violated by Turkish warplanes 1,233 times, including 31 flights over Greek territory itself, according to the Greek Air Force’s headquarters. In November, before the downing of the Russian bomber, there were at least 50 registered airspace violations.
Turkish jets habitually intrude into Greek airspace over disputed islands in the Aegean Sea, provoking the Greek Air Force to scramble fighter jets to intercept. Such airborne rendezvous often end with mock dogfights, with pilots performing real lock-ons of their air-to-air missiles onto their NATO partner’s aircraft.
Athens has repeatedly raised the matter at NATO meetings. Greece’s representative to NATO last reported Turkish violations of their national airspace on November 24. The reaction of other NATO member states has been usually to sit on the fence, and Ankara continued to test Athen’s patience.
When Turkey shot down the Russian bomber on Tuesday, Greek Foreign Minister Nikas Kotzias expressed solidarity with Russia in a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
“Athens agrees with the Russian president’s assessment on Ankara’s hostile actions, which are contrary to the goals of the anti-ISIS coalition,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said, as reported by RIA Novosti.
Greece, according to its Foreign Ministry, “especially comprehends provocative moves by Turkey given regular multiple violations of Greek air space by Ankara lasting for years.”
According to Greece’s General Staff, on November 24, the day a Turkish F-16 fighter jet fired an air-to-air missile at Russia’s bomber, the Turkish Air Force made no violations of Greek airspace for the first time in a long period.
Once the Russian warplane went down in flames, “there was zero activity of Turkish aviation in Greek FIR in the Aegean Sea, and it is understandable why,” RIA Novosti cited a diplomatic source in Athens.
The Turkish Air Force also halted strikes on Syrian territory after Russia deployed S-400 long-range air defense complexes at the Khmeimim airbase in Syria’s Latakia, from where the Russian Air Force strikes Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
The body is being treated in accordance with the Orthodox Christian tradition, Davutoglu told journalists in Ankara.
The Russian embassy confirmed the date of the transfer will be set on Sunday, TASS reported.
“Regarding the transfer of the body of the Su-24’s pilot to Russia, we don’t have a precise date and time. Today, the body will be delivered to Ankara, and then it will become clear when it will be sent to Russia,” Mityakov said.
While on a bombing run against Islamic State positions in Syria, the Russian Su-24 bomber was downed on Tuesday by an air-to-air missile fired by a Turkish Air Force F-16.
One Russian pilot was killed by Syrian rebels as he parachuted to the ground, while the other was rescued and returned safely to the Khmeimim airbase.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims the Russian bomber was in Turkish airspace, but the Russian command insists the Turkish fighter had crossed into Syria during the attack.
It remains unclear how Turkey managed to recover the body from the Syrian militants.
A couple of days ago, a Syrian rebel commander who boasted of murdering the Russian pilot on video turned out to be a Turkish ultranationalist, and a son of the ex-mayor in one of Turkey’s provinces.