Syrian War Report – Feb. 16-18, 2019: French Officer Is Punished For Revealing Truth About Conflict

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Syrian War Report – Feb. 16-18, 2019: French Officer Is Punished For Revealing Truth About Conflict

Over the past few days, the military situation has notably escalated in central and western Syria.

On February 15, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) backed up by pro-government militias launched a scale combing operation in the deserts of Damascus, Deir Ezzor, Raqqa and Homs.

The operation covers the desert area between the western Deir Ezzor countryside and the Bishri mount in southern Raqqa; between the historical city of Palmyra in eastern Homs and the Ghurab mount in the Damascus desert; and the northeastern part of the Damascus desert that reaches the Syrian-Iraqi border. This effort is designed to improve the shake security and prevent large attacks by ISIS cells on government-controlled areas.

Another growing point of instability in the so-called Idlib de-escalation zone. During the past 3 days, the SAA and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-led forces were constantly involved in exchange of artillery strikes and even sporadic clashes in these areas. Especially intense militant shelling hit the towns of al-Suqaylabiyah, Masyaf, Mahardah and Salhab along with a nearby power plant in northern Hama. In response, the SAA targeted artillery positions of militant groups involved in these attacks near Qalaat al-Madiq, Hirsh al-Qasabiyah, Maarrat al-Nu’man, al-Lataminah and Kafr Zita.

At the same time, the Russian side sends mixed signals about the agreements regarding the situation in the Idlib zone by Turkey, Russia and Iran. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that there is a need to make “steps aimed at clearing Idlib from terrorist groups”, but noted that this does not mean a military operation.

However, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that “it’s up to the military to design a plan in accordance with the international humanitarian law requirements”. He also said that Ankara and Moscow had reached an agreement to “try to establish a step-by-step approach, making several areas of joint patrol inside the zone of de-escalation”. It remains unclear how Russian forces can find themselves involved in any patrols in the area because a vast majority of it is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria.

The US-led coalition and its proxies known in the mainstream media as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are also facing a problem. ISIS is de-facto defeated in the Hajin pocket. However, nobody is hurrying up to finalize the operation and announce the victory because this will eliminate the only formal justification of the illegal US invasion in the country.

Colonel Francois-Regis Legrier, who has been in charge of directing French artillery supporting the SDF since October, faced punishment after making critical remarks regarding the U.S.-led coalition’s operation against ISIS, according to the French military.

The reason is that Colonel Legrier openly admitted that the coalition was not hurrying up to defeat ISIS and this had greatly increased the death toll among civilians and the levels of destruction.

“We have massively destroyed the infrastructure and given the population a disgusting image of what may be a Western-style liberation leaving behind the seeds of an imminent resurgence of a new adversary,” he wrote in an article published by the National Defence Review.

Earlier, General Joseph Votel, commander of US Central Command, claimed that ISIS is far from defeated and insisted that a Syrian withdrawal would be unwise. He also said that the SDF could not defeat the terror group without continued US assistance. These remarks as well as the case of Colonel Legrier are another example of the disconnect between the publicly declared goals of the coalition presence in Syria and its real purposes.

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  • Gregory Casey

    As an Honourable French Officer Faces Punishment For Revealing The Truth About Anti-ISIS Operations in Syria where 46% of Deaths from US-Coalition Bombing are CIVILIANS the Silence & Hypocrisy of our Media is Alarming but ………
    We really shouldn’t be surprised ‘cos their silence is reflective of the Hypocrisy of our Politicians in US & UK & France and elsewhere across Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand & Israel.

    • Jens Holm

      Thats how things are. And are You better Yourself. One French officer – well high ranked – confirm Your wet dreams under Your bed blanket. Thats how it is.

      I see the facts. look at the map. I also are not senile remembering USA are in Syria because of Assads – and not because ISIS.

      So Your focus should be if Assads has solved much according the reasons to all those Jihadists. I dont see he has.

      • Gregory Casey

        You should know that US Forces are not in Syria to fight against the SAA & Assad Jens. They decided they didn’t need to do that ‘cos they already had their proxies in ISIS & HTS / Nusra / Qaeda doing that for them. The Americans went in to Syria to babysit ISIS and to keep the Kurds on the side of US & Israel & in hopes of breaking NE Syria from the rest. Almost succeeded in this except for the fact they never expected Assad & SAA to survive and thrive together with the Russians & Iranians & Hezbollah and now also, Iraqi Shia & Sunni Militia together with Iraqi Air Force. Moreover, they never expected Assyrian Christians together with their Arab neighbours in NE Syria to tell their Kurdish neighbours within Syria that only over their dead bodies would Kurds succeed in breaking that part of Syria away.

        • seawolf

          Nicely said

        • Jens Holm

          Its not far away from what I have written. USA has promised to protect SDFs as long as Assads are dangerous for them, because Assads should posses less.

          That also cant be kept if they cant neutralize Turks from the SDFs.

          If USA really wanted to take all Syria or more parts , which fx could be the 3 angle Raqqa-Al Tanf-Al Qaim/Abu Kamal, they would not have only max 6 to 8.000 troopers, even they are heavy ones and supply supported from outisde.

          Even the very dirty used oil card has no realisme. They could reopen the oil for food pipeline best known by Saddam. The long distance oiltransport to Basra has the big problems from long time before it reach Basra and are the same as for the Iranians. USA dont need that – others need that much more.

  • Hell Sing

    Well, now at least know a French officer has more integrity to call a spade a spade than those military career Generals of Pentagon.

    • Jens Holm

      Be a spade Yourself. We again and again has heard people like You blaming them for killling too many civilians.

      Whatever they do, You will continue to blame them for anything they do.

  • AriusArmenian

    The US CIA and Saudis created Al Qaeda in Afghanistan (Osama bin Laden was their operative) then in the 1990’s spread it into Azerbaijan via a CIA company fronted by Scowcroft and Brzezinski then from there to Bosnia and Chechnya. The US aided and abetted the creation of ISIS and has shepherded it since – how do you think they acquired the fleet of Toyota trucks? The CIA and DOD trained and armed their vermin jihadi army sent into Syria for immense suffering, death, and destruction. Now read the news through those facts and see what you think.

    • james ha

      all correct. now we can go further and state that uncle samuel actually goes so far as to airlift ISIS commanders to safety when they are endangered by the legitimate Assad forces.

      • Joe Lizak

        Reminds me of when Bin Laden was surround by actual troops with no way out….then the CIA airlifted him out. Right after nine eleven.

    • Joe Lizak

      Also those phony beheadings with the fake green screen backdrop was hilarious. The final straw will be these deep state thugs impeaching president Trump.

  • Masdar

    The Americans and the French forces and any others should by out of Syria and let Syria Russia Iran and Hezbollah deal with any of the ISIS and rebel forces that are still holding out.

    • Jens Holm

      No, thay shouldnt. Changes are needed even I dont support military presense. But that seemes to be the only thing You understand. The rest is like communicating with a radio.

      If everything was fine, it was fine. Its not. Not at all.

      • seawolf

        Now what about your “wet dreams” ? Please tell us about so we can understand your position.

  • Jean de Peyrelongue

    I have read the 7 pages report from Colonel Legrier where he claims that the way the US coalition is conducting the war in Syria is rather dirty and that they have no reason to be proud of it.
    It is a first step but it is not enough for me as he is not telling clearly that the US coalition including the french in Syria are commiting a war crime. Nobody asked them for help and in fact it seems that their objective is to destroy Syria and the terrorists are just an excuse to do this and that is a war crime.

    • Gregory Casey

      Perfectly put Jean. That is precisely why the US & UK & French & Saudi Coalition is in Syria.

  • blueskybigstar

    Why aren’t people more alarmed that the West supports Al Qaeda and the Islamic State?