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Wednesday, November 30

"Evidently a lot of media halfwits cannot read a map"

Pat Lang at Sic Semper Tyrannis has made pithy comments about the current situation in E. Aleppo and the people reporting on it. Here is one passage:
The lying US and European media are, of course, portraying the situation as something very different.  In Mediaworld, the people of east Aleppo are fleeing from the government.  I ask you, pilgrims, to what place would civilians be fleeing in trying to escape the government?  The east Aleppo pocket is entirely surrounded by government allied forces.  Evidently a lot of media halfwits cannot read a map.  
Bravo, Colonel!

*********  

I interrupt the Madhouse for a Sanity Break

Do you know how many hours I've spent today following events in Syria?  Never mind. Never have I seen so many deranged governments converge on one little country, and that's not counting the loco people at the United Nations and the barking mad terrorists. 

All right; just for a few minutes, to remember what sane people are like, here is Mast Nazron Se Allah Bachaye by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, posted to YouTube by Aman Deep. This qawwali was filmed at Bradford University in 1985. It sounds as if Ustad Nusrat is experimenting with an echo gizmo on at least one microphone (or maybe it's the room's acoustics); he doesn't need the echo but it suits the rendition.

******** 

"Syrian Army Advances in South of Eastern Aleppo, Terrorists Flee"

November 30, 2016 - 4:8 [local time]
FARS

[emphasis mine]

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army troops and popular forces opened their way and gained ground in the Southern districts of Eastern Aleppo after liberating the Northern parts and fierce clashes with the terrorists as reports say militants are still on the run.

While operations in the Eastern parts of Aleppo have focused on retaking al-Sha'ar, al-Halwaniyeh and al-Sakan al-Shababi (Youth Housing Complex), the Syrian army clashed with the terrorists in these districts and could advance and inflict heavy tolls and damages on the militants.

After several hours of fierce clashes, the Syrian army could reach the gates of Sad al-Loz market at the entrance of al-Sha'ar district to pave the ground for further advance in the terrorist-held areas.

Local sources reported that a large number of terrorists have retreated to the safer zones, including al-Sokri and al-Ameriyeh, in the Southern parts of Eastern Aleppo and are asking to be given amnesty or relocation by the government after the army advanced in the region and destroyed their artilleries, missile-launchers, bases and hideouts.  

[Pundita comment: Boy, what a bunch of spoiled terrorists]

Tens of families who lived in al-Sha'ar and al-Ferdos districts in Eastern Aleppo and were used as human shields by the terrorists took the opportunity and escaped the region.

After the Syrian army retook control of all Northern parts of Eastern Aleppo city, the terrorist groups sent their forces from other fronts to al-Halwaniyeh, al-Sakan al-Shababi and al-Sha'ar districts which are considered as their defense lines in the Southern districts of Eastern Aleppo.

District after district have fallen into the hands of the Syrian army soldiers and their allies, forcing the terrorist groups to rapidly retreat to the South in order to avoid being overrun and outflanked by the pressing forces in Eastern Aleppo as the pro-government troops have already managed to take full control of the Northern flank of the Aleppo city's Eastern districts.

With recapturing the Northern part of Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, Syrian army forces have turned their attention to the last half of the East Aleppo pocket.

The Syrian army and its allies started on Tuesday a new phase of military operations to recapture the remaining districts in the middle and Southern parts of Eastern Aleppo.

[...]

*********

"Over 600 Militants Left East Aleppo, Most of Them Pardoned - Russian MoD" UPDATED 10:25am EST

Update. The full report is now posted at Sputnik at the "breaking news" link below.   
****
Headline is breaking news via Sputnik, published 16:32 30.11.2016

"Details to follow"

********

"Al-Qaeda reinforcements arrive on western outskirts of Aleppo for new assaults"

By Chris Tomson
November 30, 2016
AMN (Al-Masdar News)

According to information obtained by Al-Masdar News, hundreds of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Al-Qaeda affiliate) fighters arrived from Idlib to the western Aleppo countryside on Wednesday. Syrian reconnaissance units and drones have observed extensive Islamist military build-up in the region, causing government troops to stiffen their defences of the city.

Effectively, Jaysh al-Fateh (Army of Conquest/Islamist coalition) is expected to launch renewed attacks on the densely populated government-held suburbs of western Aleppo in the coming days in a last-ditch effort to relieve besieged insurgents in eastern Aleppo.

Meanwhile, the Russian Air Force will likely increase its sorties over western Aleppo in an attempt to disrupt the upcoming jihadist offensive and reduce its initial impact.

[...]

********


Somebody get the hook: CIA continues to supply TOW missiles to bad guys

[Looking at her watch] Um, you wouldn't consider leaving the White House earlier than January, would you, Mr President? And taking John Brennan with you?  

CIA CONTINUES TO SUPPLY TOW MISSILES TO SYRIAN 'REBELS’ INVOLVED IN CHILD BEHEADING
November 30, 2016

A Syrian US-backed "rebel" group, Nour al-Din al-Zenki, became widely known in July after beheading a [Palestinian refugee] child near Aleppo city and posting the video of this. 

 [At the time] Nour al-Din al-Zenki was a “CIA-vetted” group and was receiving TOW missiles through the CIA program.

Initially some mainstream media attempted to defend the ... group, explaining that it was a “mistake” and an isolated case.

However, under the pressure of public opinion the US State Department was pushed to announce that the US might consider withdrawing its support from the “rebels,” if reports of the beheading of 14-year old boy were confirmed. 

[Pundita note: The video of the beheading and moments leading up to it was ample confirmation]

But subsequent developments showed that [beheading a child] was not enough reason for the CIA to withdraw its support from Nour al-Din al-Zenki.

The group continues to use US-supplied TOW missiles.

On November 21, the group’s official Twitter page released a photo of group member, using a US-supplied missile. Then “moderate rebels” published a video, confirming this.

Considering the high intensity of battles in which the group is involved in Syria (for example in Aleppo city and its countryside), there are almost no doubts that it uses the newly-delivered missiles.

If you’re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn’t be possible without your help: PayPal: southfront@list.ru or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or via: https://www.patreon.com/southfront

[END REPORT]

*******

Russian, Syrian governments scramble to look after thousands of Syrian DPs (UPDATED 7:10am EST)

Busy time at the Russian Conciliation Center in Syria


Below, two views of the scene as more than 5,600 civilians in terrorist-held parts of E. Aleppo made a run for it yesterday to a military checkpoint. There were just too many for the terrorist snipers to shoot. 



From reports I reviewed this morning, I am getting the impression that the Russian and Syrian governments were caught a little flat-footed by the blinding speed with which East Aleppo and other regions are being liberated by the Syrian Army coalition. 

In any case, they're rushing to provide housing, food, medical care and other aid to the tide of displaced persons flooding en masse into areas now cleared of terrorists. Here, two November 29 reports from SANA, Syria's state news agency, on the situation, and one filed today from SouthFront, which couldn't resist thumbing its nose at the West:

UP TO 6,000 CIVILIANS LEAVE MILITANT-HELD AREAS OF SYRIA’S ALEPPO WITHOUT ANY HELP FROM THE WEST
SouthFront
 ... "During the past day 5,629 civilians, including 2,855 children, left the militants-controlled areas in the eastern part of the city of Aleppo, with the assistance of the Russian Center of reconciliation,” spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, said.
Konashenkov added that the people are being placed in special humanitarian centers prepared by the Syrian government. Russia assists in the effort with supplies of food, daily necessities, and medicine.
Russia delivers 10 tons of humanitarian aid to areas in Hama, Homs and Aleppo
Moscow, SANA – The Hmeimim-based Russian Coordination Center announced that Moscow has delivered about 10 tons of humanitarian aid to areas in Hama, Homs, and Aleppo provinces.
The Center said in a statement that it delivered about 7 tons of aid in Jibrin village in the eastern countryside of Aleppo and 2.5 tons in Assila village in Hama province and about one ton in Kafr Abed village in Homs province.
On Sunday, the Center said that it started preparing humanitarian aid to be delivered to the areas in the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city where terrorists were expelled.
H. Zain/ H. Said
Thousands of locals exit eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo and are escorted to safety
Aleppo, SANA – Large numbers of locals who were besieged by terrorists managed to exit the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city on Tuesday.
SANA’s correspondent quoted a source at Aleppo Governorate as saying that thousands of families managed to exit the eastern neighborhoods, and Syrian Arab Army personnel are receiving them and transporting them to safety, while the authorities at the Governorate are securing the needs for providing temporary residence to those families.
On Monday, army units secured the exit of thousands of locals from the eastern neighborhoods, most of them women and children, transporting them to temporary housing centers, all while the army continues to carry out precise operations to clear the eastern neighborhoods of terrorists in a manner that preserves the lives of civilians and helps evacuate them.
So far, the Syrian Arab Army has restored security and stability to the areas of the Scientific Research Housings, al-Haidariye, al-Sakhour, al-Inzarat, al-Sheikh Khedr, Jabal Badro, and al-Halk in Aleppo city.
[END REPORT]
See also: President Putin orders sending mobile hospitals to Aleppo to provide medical assistance to civilians; November 29, SANA


UPDATE

Russia to deliver 100,000 tonnes of wheat to Syria; November 29, AMN
*********

UN, Western regimes and NGOs spitting mad at Syrian Army victories in Aleppo

The headlines are from Middle East Eye reports:

UN says 16,000 flee east Aleppo amid 'chilling' army onslaught

France calls for immediate UN Security Council meeting on Aleppo

Leading Merkel ally urges sanctions against ‘Russian henchmen’ over Syria

Battle for Aleppo: Chaos in the streets as civilians flee army onslaught


Although a stated non-government website that claims to be an independent source for Middle East news, the Wikipedia listing of Middle East Eye's main contributors, director and editor suggest to me that the publication is oriented to the Gulf Arab viewpoint.

While it's not unethical for a news organization to have a viewpoint, a November 29 report from MEE, Syrian forces storm southeast Aleppo as UN warns of rebel capitulation, does not represent a point of view. It represents wild lies that could only be believed by readers who are know virtually nothing about what's happening in Syria -- and are unaware of the propaganda war being waged against the Syrian government by Nato, EU, Turkish, and Gulf Arab governments and their press sympathizers and mouthpieces. 

The report and the sources it quotes stands the entire situation in E. Aleppo on its head. For example, MEE portrays civilians fleeing their terrorist captors as actually fleeing the Syrian army. The most egregious statements in the report:
Zouhir al-Shimale, an MEE contributor in Sakhur, eastern Aleppo, said residents were bombed by Syrian forces as they tried to flee on foot from the Bab al-Nairab area into government-held territory.
Shimale said the attack killed 28 civilians, including many women and children. The civil defence White Helmets separately put the toll at 25.
Why the SAA should kill women and children fleeing toward them, especially when the air force is now bombing with pinpoint accuracy (due to their use of drone technology), is beyond me. Moreover, the Syrian government is bending over backward to protect civilians in the region.

As to the White Helmets -- no credible news organization would quote statistics provided by the group, given all that's now known about them. (For one detailed analysis of White Helmets propaganda, see Gareth Porter's November 28 report for Alternet, 
How a Syrian White Helmets Leader Played Western Media.) 

And there is not one terrorist or 'jihadist' in E. Aleppo as MEE tells it; there are only "rebels."

The report also unquestioningly passes along a Human Rights Watch comment about the language in a leaflet dropped on E. Aleppo by the Syrian military that's clearly aimed at terrorist fighters there. HRW portrays the language as threatening civilians with annihilation if they don't leave the area. The accusation could be called ridiculous if it wasn't grotesque.

Yet whatever I could say in criticism of MEE's reportage, the list of headlines it currently features about Syria shows it's in large company when it comes to pushing lies about events in Aleppo.

********

And what of Raqqa?

ISIL's [Islamic State] Religious Emir Gunned Down by Unknown Assailants in Raqqa City
November 29, 2016 - 8:17 [local time]
FARS

TEHRAN (FNA)- The religious emir of the ISIL terrorist group was shot dead by unidentified assailants in the city of Raqqa on Tuesday.

Abu Amineh Halabi, ISIL's religious commander, was gunned down by armed men using handguns equipped with silencers, Ara news website reported.

Five masked men in a car shot at Halabi several times in the Eastern part of Sharakseh district and escaped the scene after killing infamous leader.

ISIL's Hasaba (monitoring-security system) forces immediately cordoned off the area after Halabi was killed.

Raqqa city is considered the ISIL's self-proclaimed de facto capital alongside Mosul in Iraq.

The city is under attack by different factions and from different directions.

The predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared the start of their 'Euphrates Rage Operation' to capture Raqqa on November 6.

The Kurdish fighters also warned Raqqa residents to stay away from the terrorists and urged all civilians to move to the territories freed from ISIL.

The Syrian army has also started taking initial steps to beat back the ISIL terrorists from Raqqa from at least three different directions. The army is now engaged in battle with ISIL over the town of Al-Bab in Northeastern Aleppo province and plans to win back the town of Deir Hafer next to open[ing] its path towards Raqqa. It also started to advance towards the ISIL's self-proclaimed capital from Hama province months ago, but it stopped the operation after its forces came under attack by ISIL's chemically-armed munitions. 

The army is also said to be working on a third front to approach Raqqa from the South and through Northern Homs.

[END REPORT]

*********

Tuesday, November 29

President Putin orders sending mobile hospitals for civilians to Aleppo

Why haven't European, Saudi, and U.S. regimes sent mobile hospitals to Aleppo given their vaunted concern for the medical needs of the civilians?  [shrug] 

President Putin orders sending mobile hospitals to Aleppo to provide medical assistance to civilians
November 29, 2016
SANA

Moscow, SANA- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Ministries of Defense and Emergency Situations to send mobile hospitals to provide medical assistance to residents of Aleppo and residential areas near it.

Peskov told reporters in Moscow that President Putin has ordered to provide mobile hospitals and to transport them to Syria in order to provide full medical assistance to all needy residents of Aleppo as soon as possible.

He added that this task should be implemented as soon as possible, pointing out that the Russian Defense Ministry will send a specialized medical team along with multidisciplinary hospitals with a capacity of up to 100 beds and equipment for treating children, and with the ability to serve about 420 patients per day.

Peskov added that the Emergency Situations Ministry will also deploy a 50-bed mobile hospital that is capable of treating 200 patients each day.

For his part, a source at Emergency Situations Ministry said it will dispatch an airmobile hospital and doctors from its Tsentrospas rescue team to provide medical assistance to residents of Aleppo and nearby areas on November 30th, adding that it will be deployed in the vicinity of Aleppo to provide highly-qualified, high-tech medical assistance to residents.

Earlier today, Peskov affirmed that Russia is exchanging opinions on the situation in Aleppo mainly with Syria’s legitimate authorities.

“As regards Aleppo, certainly there is an exchange of views via different channels, but mainly the discussion is being held with the legitimate Syrian authorities,” Peskov told reporters when asked whether discussions were held with the Western partners on the development of the situation in Aleppo.

Peskov pointed out that the Kremlin continues to work with the US President Barack Obama’s administration and that he did not establish any contact with the team of US President-elect Donald Trump on Syria yet, and it does not have any plans in this regard now, explaining that Trump hasn’t yet formed his team and anyway the Obama as is still the current peer-President of Vladimir Putin.

He added that President Putin and US President-elect Trump share the outlines of their foreign policy approaches despite differences on details.

Manar al-Freih / Hazem Sabbagh

[END REPORT]

*********

"Chaos Reported among Terrorist Groups in Eastern Aleppo"

Rough translation of black turban's end of the conversation:
"The cavalry isn't coming, you idiot." 


FARS - 3:44pm [local time]

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army's rapid advances in the Eastern districts of Aleppo has perplexed the terrorist groups and created chaos among them.

The Syrian government's tapping of contacts and radio exchanges between the terrorists in and outside Aleppo showed that the militants who are stationed outside the city are asking their comrades to reconstruct their lines immediately to prevent any further collapse.

[...]

The Russian Defense Ministry's Peace Cooperation Center in Syria said Sunday that infighting between terrorist groups in Aleppo has intensified as militants are trying to prevent other comrades from leaving the Syrian city.

Clashes between militant groups have intensified because some militants, who are controlling Eastern Aleppo, wanted to leave the city but were encountered by the most hardline groups," the center's statement added.

An informed source in Eastern Aleppo also said last Saturday that Fatah al-Sham Front (previously known as the al-Nusra Front) terrorist group was in dire conditions and trying to persuade civilians to join them to slow down the Syrian army's devastating advances in the region.

Local sources in Eastern Aleppo have also reported that the terrorists have lost confidence in their commanders after their repeated unfulfilled promises on breaking the army's siege and their morale has weakened after heavy defeats and sustaining abundant casualties and damages.

After continued defeats and nearly two months of insistence on remaining in the city and rejecting the army's several chances to leave Eastern Aleppo with their weapons, terrorists are now facing the realities of war as their comrades' massive attacks on the city to break the army's several-month-long siege have all ended up in fiasco.

[...]

Meantime, images released from Eastern Aleppo displayed that the civilians who sought to leave the region with the help of the Syrian army were attacked by the terrorist groups.

The civilians sought to flee the Eastern districts of Aleppo with the help of the Syrian forces after the terrorists fled the Sakhor region, but militant snipers didn’t allow them to leave the region towards the government-controlled areas.

The Syrian army started special operations in Aleppo after several humanitarian pauses declared by Damascus and Moscow to give a chance to the civilian population as well as the militants to leave the Eastern parts of the city through 8 corridors, and managed to take full control of the Northern flank of the Aleppo city's Eastern districts.

The army units have taken back 20 square kilometers of the total 45 square kilometers of Eastern Aleppo while scores of terrorists were killed and wounded in tough battle with the Syrian army soldiers.

Thousands of civilians, including hundreds of children and newborn babies, have also left the Eastern part of the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo in recent days.

Meanwhile, hundreds of militants laid down their arms and left Eastern Aleppo through the special corridors.

[END REPORT]

Below, more headlines from FARS today and one from SouthFront:

MORE MILITANTS ARE READYING TO SURRENDER TO SYRIAN GOVERNMENT IN ALEPPO CITY – REPORTS (SouthFront)

Terrorists in Eastern Aleppo Threaten al-Muhaysini to Leave War 
TEHRAN (FNA)- Terrorist commanders stationed in the Eastern parts of Aleppo have threatened Abdullah Muhammad al-Muhaysini, a senior al Qaeda-linked cleric and the religious leader of Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups, that they will be forced to give up fight and surrender the city to the army in the next two days if not rescued from outside.
According to al-Mayadeen news channel, also a number of terrorists have called for the Syrian government's green buses to take them to other regions.
Other reports also said that a number of militants accuse their comrades of withdrawing support for them, saying that they have left for the Northern parts of Aleppo to fight for Turkey in return for $200 payments.
[...]
 Terrorists Fleeing Eastern Aleppo in Large Numbers 

Syrian Army Takes Full Control of Eastern Aleppo's Northern Flank

Aleppo City: Syrian Army Kicks Off New Military Operation to Fully Recapture Eastern Districts

*********

The Peacemaker



Photograph accompanying a report at FARS about the growing success of the Syrian government's reconcilliation plan.

********      

Reconciliation Plan Joined by Over 1,000 Syrian Regions

November 29, 2016 - 5:54 [local time]
FARS

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria announced that many more towns and regions have joined Syria's Reconciliation Plan over the past 24 hours, pushing the overall number of those towns and regions that have endorsed the peace agreement to exceed 1,000.

The Russian Peace Coordination Center in Syria announced on Tuesday that militants in 17 more towns have laid down arms and signed peace agreement with Damascus in last 24 hours.

"The total number of the towns and regions joining the national reconciliation plan in Syria now stands at 1,003," the Russian Center said.

The Russian Center in Syria announced on Sunday that militants in eight more towns in the two provinces of Damascus and Lattakia had laid down arms and signed peace agreement with Damascus.

A day earlier the Russian Center had also announced that "militants in a town in Damascus province and another town in Lattakia province inked peace agreement with Syrian government from Friday to Saturday".

[END REPORT]

*******

The Kremlin should stop trying to placate NATO regimes about Syria

"Those who remain in eastern Aleppo, roughly 40,000 from a prewar population estimated at about a million, have been without electricity or running water for more than a year."
-- From award-winning journalist Martin Chulov's on-the-ground March 12, 2015 report for the Guardian, The worst place in the world? Aleppo in ruins after four years of Syria war: In the east of Syria’s largest city, where entire neighbourhoods have been destroyed, the few remaining residents face a Darwinian fight for survival.

If there were 40,000 residents in E. Aleppo in early 2015, how is that a headline today from RT reads, Breakthrough in Aleppo saves 80,000 civilians – Russian military

Not to be outdone Iran's FARS agency reported today that no less than 90,000 civilians had been rescued from E. Aleppo.

Meanwhile, AMN chief Leith Fadel's cousin Joseph, who is fighting for the government side in E. Aleppo, told him a few days ago that there were about 30,000 civilians left in east Aleppo, which Leith reported on his Twitter page. That was before several civilians in E. Aleppo were evacuated, in numbers ranging from about 3K to 10K, depending on the report.

So why is the Kremlin going along with the UN fish tale that there are at least 250,000 civilians trapped in E. Aleppo? For the same reason it's not putting up a fight about the reported number of hospitals the Russian/Syrian air forces have bombed in East Aleppo. 

(Syrian Lina Abadi's droll comment on the strange phenomenon created by Western reporting known as The Last Hospital in E. Aleppo: "When a hospital in East Aleppo is destroyed, 10 new spring up in its place. - Syrian proverb.")   

From the following passage in the RT report, I think it's obvious why the Kremlin believes it's necessary to attempt to placate NATO governments, at least long enough to finish helping the Syrian Army clear Aleppo of terrorist groups:
Earlier, head of the German Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Norbert Röttgen, along with other MPs, called on Berlin to impose more sanctions against Russia over the offensive in Aleppo, and open an airlift to the militant-held areas similar to the historic Berlin airlift in the late 1940s. They cited damage allegedly caused to the city by Russian airstrikes. The strikes, according to the Russian military, were paused in mid-October and did not resume.
The German Foreign Ministry said Damascus and “its supporters, above all Russia and Iran, bear the biggest responsibility” for civilian suffering in Aleppo.

TRANSLATION: 'We're scared Erdogan is going make good on his latest threat to flood EU with more refugees and we don't want a war with a NATO member.'

Granted, Erdogan is furious that E. Aleppo is falling to Assad's government. But how does the EU threatening Russia solve their problem with Turkey?

Bottom line:  the more that Moscow, Damascus and Iran rack up success against people that Al Saud and Turkey want in power in Syria, the nastier the NATO/EU threats against Moscow -- and by implication, Damascus. And Iran.

But for the Kremlin to attempt to placate people who in turn are trying to placate other people is a waste of time. And it's giving points to the NATO/EU/Gulf Arab "Axis of Scoundrels" that it doesn't deserve.

For more of Lina Abadi's sharp observations, read her Twitter page. The propagandists are quick but she's quicker.  As to the Last Hospital in E. Aleppo -- from Lina:

"Long live East Aleppo's last hospital!"

********

There's Divine Grace, then there's Monkey Business

Once a devotee of Shirdi Sai Baba (an earlier emanation of the same consciousness that created the Sathya Sai Baba incarnation) had a clear dream in which he was in a prison. He called out to Shirdi Baba to free him; Shirdi Baba appeared and replied that he couldn't, because the man's karma was very bad. The man cried, "You can do anything!" Shirdi Baba asked him if he really believed that. The man said he did. Just like that, the prison bars fell.

You are not more powerful than the divine. So don't go wishing Hell on yourself if you know you've done bad. Call for help, plead for help, and keep pleading and calling.  

Easy advice to hear but it can be tough to follow. Many people don't want to be saved. They only want to be patched up so they can return to whatever monkey business got them in trouble in the first place.  

This can go on for scores of incarnations, as they bounce from shaman to shaman, priest to priest, baba to baba, religion to religion, collecting little packets of help to tide them over. Until they've made so much grief for themselves and others that they decide, 'Okay now I'm going to Hell.' 

Notice that they're still thinking they run the show. The good news is that once this idea is rejected Grace is surprisingly easy to obtain. That's because it is always there.           
              



Monday, November 28

E. Aleppo civilians redouble their resistance against their militant captors



Popular Uprising against Terrorists Intensifies in Eastern Aleppo
Mon Nov 28, 2016 - 5:45pm local time
FARS

TEHRAN (FNA)- Emboldened by the Syrian Army's rapid advances in the region, people in the eastern districts of Aleppo have intensified protests against terrorist groups there. 

The resistance groups are carrying out assassination attempts against the terrorists in all districts of Eastern Aleppo.

Meantime, people have hoisted Syria's flags in Eastern Aleppo and are ready to welcome the country's army soldiers.

The residents of al-Qaterji district in Aleppo city staged protest rallies against the terrorists and asked them to leave their houses and surrender the district to the Syrian army.

Last Wednesday, a senior Syrian commander and legislator underlined good cooperation between the people in Eastern Aleppo and the army, and said a popular uprising has ignited against the terrorists in the region.

"The residents of Eastern Aleppo have staged rallies against the terrorists while holding up President Bashar al-Assad's pictures," Mohannad al-Haaj said.

Noting that people in Eastern Aleppo are cooperating with the army forces against the terrorists, he said that they have mounted President Assad's image on the highest point of Abu Bakr al-Saddiq mosque in al-Kalasa district in a show of support for the army.

"Therefore, the popular move and uprising inside the city shows that people support the government and are trying to help 250,000 civilians, who have been captivated by the terrorists and 7,000 of them are being used as human shields by the militants, to escape the city," al-Haaj said.

[Pundita note: I would take that 250K figure with a large grain of salt; the true number still trapped in E. Aleppo is closer to 25K. Which is exactly why the bad guys are now finding it hard to stand up to the protests against them in E. Aleppo. They're losing more and more human shields with every hour that passes. And since the civilians there have realized the army is now doing pinpoint precise bombing, they are further emboldened.  As to how the army is managing that feat with their el-cheapo unguided bombs:  through the magic of drone technology.]  

After repeated defeats and nearly two months of insistence on remaining in the city and rejecting the army's several chances to leave Eastern Aleppo with their weapons, terrorists are now facing the realities of war as their comrades' massive attacks on the city to break the army's several-month-long siege have all ended up in fiasco.

Earlier on Monday, the Syrian army and popular forces strengthened their military positions in newly captured districts in the Eastern part of the city of Aleppo.

The army units and their allies fortified their military positions in Haydariyah and al-Sakhor districts in Eastern Aleppo city.

Meantime, the Hezbollah resistance forces are chasing the terrorists who are trying to flee the region.

On Sunday, the terrorists sustained heavy defeat in different fronts in Northeastern districts of Aleppo and they had to withdraw from Haydariyah, Bustan al-Pasha, al-Hallak, Ayn al-Tal and al-Sheikh Khezr regions.

Meantime, Syria's media reported that the resistance forces managed to take full control of al-Sakhor region after they had seized back over 95 percent of the region on Sunday.

On Sunday, it was reported that the countdown has started for the collapse of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists in entire Eastern Aleppo as they are losing ground to invading army and popular forces in several neighborhoods and were forced to evacuate Bustan al-Pasha district Northeast of the city after brief clashes in the evening.

The Syrian army and Hezbollah forces, who captured Hanano quarter on Saturday and Jabal Badrou, al-Ard al-Hamra, al-Saroukh districts on Sunday, continued their military operations and managed to push back a large number of terrorists from more vital bastions in the Eastern parts of the city.

According to some Arab media outlets, militants of Fateh Halab (Aleppo Conqueror) factions have abandoned Bustan Al-Pasha as well as Haydariyah and Baeedin districts after huge defeats of their comrades on Sunday.


[END REPORT]

*********

Syrian Army takes control of nearly 50 percent of E. Aleppo

See also: Syrian Army Fortifies Military Positions in Eastern Aleppo; 2:17pm local time; FARS

Syrian Army Continues March on Militant-Held Regions, Takes Control of Nearly 50 Percent of Eastern Aleppo
Mon Nov 28, 2016 - 5:52pm [local time]
FARS

[see website for another of those maps that are impossible for me to understand]

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army continued its advances in Baeedin district after taking full control of al-Davvar district, and is now in control of nearly half of Eastern Aleppo.

The army units have taken back 20 square kilometers of the total 45 square kilometers of Eastern Aleppo.

Scores of terrorists were killed and wounded in tough battle with the Syrian army soldiers.

Meantime, the Syrian army and popular forces strengthened their military positions in newly captured districts in the Eastern part of the city of Aleppo on Monday.

The army units and their allies fortified their military positions in Haydariyah and al-Sakhor districts in Eastern Aleppo city.

Meantime, the Hezbollah resistance forces are chasing the terrorists who are trying to flee the region.

On Sunday, the terrorists sustained heavy defeat in different fronts in Northeastern districts of Aleppo and they had to withdraw from Haydariyah, Bustan al-Pasha, al-Hallak, Ayn al-Tal and al-Sheikh Khezr regions.

Meantime, Syria's media reported that the resistance forces managed to take full control of al-Sakhor region after they had seized back over 95 percent of the region on Sunday.

On Sunday, it was reported that the countdown has started for the collapse of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists in entire Eastern Aleppo as they are losing ground to invading army and popular forces in several neighborhoods and were forced to evacuate Bustan al-Pasha district Northeast of the city after brief clashes in the evening.

The Syrian army and Hezbollah forces, who captured Hanano quarter on Saturday and Jabal Badrou, al-Ard al-Hamra, al-Saroukh districts on Sunday, continued their military operations and managed to push back a large number of terrorists from more vital bastions in the Eastern parts of the city.

According to some Arab media outlets, militants of Fateh Halab (Aleppo Conqueror) factions have abandoned Bustan Al-Pasha as well as Haydariyah and Baeedin districts after huge defeats of their comrades on Sunday.


[END REPORT]


By Chris Tomson
November 28, 2016 [no time stamp]
AMN

[see AMN website for two videos and updated map of Aleppo battle situation; a larger version of the map is here but making it bigger is NO HELP.]

Following massive unprecedented gains inside Aleppo city over the weekend, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) continued its operations around the remaining insurgent pocket.

As the Tiger Forces settled in on the northern flank of Aleppo International Highway, other SAA factions engaged in heavy firefights and artillery exchanges with insurgents at the Sheikh Lufti district in the southeastern part of the city.

Here, the Desert Hawks Brigade, Republican Guard, Liwa al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigade) and Liwa al-Baqir (Syrian paramilitary) targeted positions held by Fatah Halab rebel groups. Subsequently, the joint pro-government forces captured about a dozen buildings in the Sheikh Lufti area on Monday after the recent capture of the nearby 'police hill'.

Additionally, Syrian government troops found themselves heavily occupied with facilitating the departure of over 10,000 civilians from formerly rebel-held neighbourhoods of Aleppo in what can only be described as a mass exodus. In at least one instance, Islamist rebels opened fire on fleeing civilians to prevent them from leaving.

[...]


********

Leith Fadel v liars

  1. "Those people that attempted to push for US intervention in Syria by lying about 250k people trapped in east Aleppo deserve prison."
    "Sakhour District has been liberated. We are witnessing the greatest lie of the decade too. There are no 250k people in east Aleppo."

How many are there? He tweeted I think yesterday that one of his cousins, who's fighting there, estimated 30K but that was before the mass exodus of about 10,000 civilians from the area.

Two more barbs yesterday from Leith, at his Twitter page:

"Where are these thousands of foreign Shia fighting for Assad in Aleppo?"


"Lol my favorite thing about the rebel collapse in east Aleppo is that it was solely done by the Syrian Arab Army and Liwaa Al-Quds."

He got a little more information today from his (excellent) sources in the Syrian military on the makeup of the good guys fighting in E. Aleppo:

"Most of the Republican Guard, Ba'ath Battalions, & NDF in east Aleppo are from Aleppo! Most are Sunnis. There is only one sectarian side...."

BTW Leith got giddy as the tide of SAA victory has been sweeping into E. Aleppo; he's been changing his name on his Twitter page. I think yesterday it was Ayatollah Leith and today it's -- uh, Abu Kousa Mahshi. (Don't ask me.)  He'll eventually get bored with coming up with new names.  (9 PM EST Update: he's already gotten bored with it.)

So. Stuff your ears with cotton if you're trying to follow the Syrian conflict through the mainstream Western media and keep your eye on Leith's AMN news site and his Twitter page for the news on the Syrian conflict.    

Here's one of the latest reports (Nov 29 Syria time) from AMN, with a helpful video on how the battle for E. Aleppo is shaking out.

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Twelve Years



Love has awakened the spiritual eye

Aankh Uthi Mohabbat Ne Angrai Lee qawwali, performed by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and troupe.     
Wajad
Spiritual ecstasy, induced by remembrance of God (Zikr) while hearing recitation of the Qur'an, Ahadith, or spiritual poetry, is called Wajd or "Wajad" by Sufis: it is especially cultivated among the Naqshbandi and Chishti spiritual orders. This bliss is one of many signs of the commencement of spiritual development in the disciple and also the opening for inspirations and spiritual abilities and powers. In its purest forms, Wajad is a pure state of eternal peace. Some Sufis enjoy Wajad while listening to poetry, with or without music (Qawwali).

Levels of Wajad

There are five distinct levels of Wajad described by Sufi Shaikhs in their numerous books:

One may also arrive at the state of Wajd by the favor of the murshid, and/or through the Grace of Allah.
(Wikipedia)



Sunday, November 27

E. ALEPPO: MILITANT FORCES COLLAPSE, MASS RETREAT

I'm late in posting these AMN and FARS field reports, the latest of which was filed about 9 PM Syria time, which is 7 hours ahead of US Eastern time. But the news is so good in the reports and helpful in understanding the dizzingly fast events  in E. Aleppo that I'm posting them, even though they'll be superseded in a few hours by fresh reports. It's currently 6:18 AM in Syria.  

SEE ALSO:
Syrian Army Frees Eight Aleppo Districts From Terrorists, Evacuates 2,500 People; November 27, 2016 - updated 23:50; Sputnik

1. Map Update: Syrian Army, Kurds continue steamrolling in east Aleppo as rebels mass retreat by Izat Charkatli; November 27, 2016 [no time stamp], AMN:

[see map at AMN]

ALEPPO, SYRIA - Following a string of advances that had the Syrian Armed Forces capture over half a dozen east Aleppo districts, the Syrian Army supported by the local YPG from Sheikh Maqsoud would proceed to seize control of the Hallak Al-Fukani, Hallak Al-Tahtani, and Bustan Al-Basha districts.

The [famous] Liwa'a Al-Quds (Palestinian paramilitary force native to Aleppo) would then proceed to capture Inzarat neighborhood after launching a powerful assault on this axis as reports increasingly suggest that the rebel forces are packing up their presence in the adjacent Haydariyah district that is expected to fall in the coming hours.

This Kurdish-SAA cooperation is not unique to those circumstances. Previously, Kurdish forces have fought along the Syrian Army in the battle for Bani Zaid and Shuqeif Industrial District. Notably, there also exists a baseline of coordination in the battles against the Islamic State terror group in Aleppo's eastern countryside where both factions see a mutual danger in the Turkish encroachment on Al-Bab.

[END AMN REPORT]

2. URGENT: Syrian Army Kicks Off New Phase of Military Operations in Eastern Aleppo; November 27, 2016 - 5:46 PM [local time]
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and allied forces started a new phase of their military operations in areas North of the Eastern districts of Aleppo city on Sunday.

The Syrian army started fresh military operations in Baeedin district just to the North of the Eastern districts in a bid to increase pressure on the terrorist groups already besieged by the government troops in those areas.

In the early hours of the military operations, Iraqi popular forces managed to take control of nearly 40 residential complexes from the terrorist groups.

Earlier on Sunday, a field source said that the recent victories of the Syrian government forces in Eastern Aleppo, specially the capture of Hanano Housing Project, have pushed Jeish al-Fatah to the threshold of complete collapse.

The source said advances of the Syrian Army troops and popular forces in the district of Jabal (mount) Badrou earlier today, seizure of Hanano Housing Project district on Saturday and taking control over more positions in al-Ard al-Hamra district have pushed the terrorist front in the Eastern part of Aleppo city into unavoidable failure.

The source added that imminent liberation of Jabal Badrou by the army men is also expected any moment.

After the capture of Hanano Housing Project by the army soldiers, the terrorist groups retreated towards nearby districts, including the districts of al-Heidariyeh and al-Sakhour.

Fierce clashes are currently underway between the government forces and terrorists near the districts of al-Heidariyeh and al-Sakhour and the army men are about to free these districts too, according to two army officers.

"Exit of a number of civilians from al-Heidariyeh district has made the terrorists so nervous and disappointed that some of them have decided to hand over this district to the army soldiers," they added. [emphasis mine]

The army is also about to carry out a large-scale offensive towards terrorists' positions in the district of al-Sakhour that is one of the main strongholds of the terrorist groups and has witnessed popular protests calling for the exit of terrorists from this district.

A field source disclosed earlier today that [about 1,000] fresh soldiers have arrived in Aleppo city to join the Syrian government forces' operation in the Eastern districts of the city.
[rest of report repeats earlier one I've posted here today]

3. URGENT, Domino of Militants' Collapse in Eastern Aleppo Continues: Bustan Al-Pasha Freed; November 27, 2016 - 8:59 local time; FARS

TEHRAN (FNA)- The countdown has started for the collapse of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists in entire Eastern Aleppo as they are losing ground to invading army and popular forces in several neighborhoods and were forced to evacuate Bustan al-Pasha district Northeast of the city after brief clashes in the evening.

The Syrian army and Hezbollah forces, who captured Hanano quarter on Saturday and Jabal Badrou, al-Ard al-Hamra, al-Saroukh districts on Sunday, continued their military operations and managed to push back a large number of terrorists from more vital bastions in the Eastern parts of the city.

According to some Arab media outlets, militants of Fateh Halab (Aleppo Conqueror) factions have abandoned Bustan Al-Pasha as well as Haydariyah and Baeedin districts after huge defeats of their comrades on Sunday.

Moreover, army and popular forces recaptured Jandoul Factories, Ayn Al-Tal district and large parts of the Hallak Fuqani and Hallak Tahtani districts amid reports of the militants' mass retreat from the Northern section of Eastern Aleppo.

The army soldiers freed the district of Jabal Badrou and al-Ard al-Hamra after hours of non-stop battle with the terrorists on Sunday. Then, they continued their advances in the Eastern part of Aleppo and managed to seize back one of the most important strongholds of the terrorists in the area; Al-Saroukh district.

The recapturing of al-Sakhour region divided the areas under the terrorists' control into the two Northern and Southern regions, leaving the Jeish al-Fatah militants disconnected from North to South.

Meanwhile, Syria's state news agency SANA reported that Army units secured departure route for 1500 people from the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city.

[rest of the report repeats earlier ones I've posted here today]

[SEE ALSO FARS videos at this page]

********




AL-NUSRA (AL-QAEDA) DEFENSES COLLAPSE IN E. ALEPPO

See the SouthFront website for maps accompanying the report, including the one showing the SAA coalition's expected plan of action. 

AL-NUSRA (AL-QAEDA) DEFENSES COLLAPSE, SYRIAN ARMY READY TO SPLIT EASTERN ALEPPO POCKET INTO TWO
November 27, 2016
SouthFront

Jaish al-Fatah militant coalition, led by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) terrorist group, has failed to [halt] the Syrian government forces advance in the eastern part of Aleppo city.

Since yesterday the Syrian army, Liwa al-Quds, Hezbollah and other pro-government groups have captured the Jabal Badro Neighborhood and launched an advance in the Al-Sakhour area, aiming to reach Bostal al-Pasha and split the militant controlled areas in eastern Aleppo into two separate parts. Government forces also captured the area of Ard Hamra.

If Jaish al-Fatah redeploys manpower from southern Aleppo [province] to its northeastern part, the army and its allies will be able to relaunch attacks in Sheikh Saeed.

An expected plan of government forces operation in eastern Aleppo:
[...]

********

600 civilians escape E. Aleppo on Saturday, more groups escape today

Photo from SANA report today; see the second report below for details. Pardon my cynicism but does that family look starved to you? I'd guess the husband is holed up in E. Aleppo with an AK-47. However, that's still a good sign, if they're finally sending their families out; it suggests the diehards know the end is near. And the first report suggests that several civilians really did escape yesterday.  From today's FARS report on the 'mass' exit yesterday, this photo looks more like escapees:


600 civilians exit rebel-held Aleppo in one day
By Chris Tomson 
November 26, 2016
AMN

During the Syrian Arab Army's (SAA) capture of the Hanano district in northeastern Aleppo on Saturday, around 600 local residents were able to escape rebel-held Aleppo.

Although several instances of small groups enduring the same journey have surfaced in recent weeks, this marks the first large batch of civilians who have safely reached government-held Aleppo safely. On Tuesday, 48 civilians also left rebel-held districts.

The Russian Ministry of Defence has accused Islamist rebels of using Aleppo's civilians as human shields, denying locals access to the newly established humanitarian corridors.


[...]
******

Another batch of families exits terrorist-besieged eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo
November 27, 2016
SANA

Aleppo, SANA_ A new batch of families managed Sunday to leave the terrorists-besieged eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo.

The army, in cooperation with the concerned sides in Aleppo governorate, transported the families to makeshift housing and provided them with all necessary needs.

Army and Armed Forces units on Saturday evening secured the exit of tens of locals who were besieged by terrorists, and transported them to a safe area, adding that the authorities at the Governorate are working to provide the locals’ needs.

Two batches of citizens also exited the neighborhoods of Bustan al-Qaser and al-Saleheen in Aleppo and were transferred to a safe place as their needs were secured by the competent authorities in the Governorate, and before that 23 locals from Hanano area exited the area on Friday evening.

Ghossoun /

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