The well publicized offensive by the Syrian Arab Army to rid the Idlib Province in Syria of ISIS, Al-Qaida, Al-Nusra Terrorists and "Free Syrian Army" Rebels seems to have begun! Heavy attacks were in-progress now 1:33 PM EDT Sunday. (UPDATE: All military activity suddenly HALTED in and around Idlib, with no explanation)
LIVE Updates to appear below . . .
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is targeting positions of rebel forces in Bidama in Jisr al-Shughour area with surface-to-surface missiles.
Additional SAA efforts now also commenced in Latakia with Short Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM)
IMPORTANT HT CONTEXT: Russia recently warned that the rebels were very close to staging a FALSE-FLAG CHEMICAL ATTACK to be blamed on Syria so as to trick the US into attacking the SAA to halt this final onslaught.
US officials like John Bolton at about the same time threatened a huge response against Assad to any further chemical attacks.
Now that the SAA offensive to clean-out the rebels and terrorists is officially underway, the bad guys will HAVE to make such a false flag attack to have any hope at all of ending the SAA offensive. THIS -- RIGHT NOW -- is where things can go very badly wrong. I do not exaggerate when I tell you World War 3 can begin over this. It's THAT serious.
If the rebels launch their phony chemical attack, and if the US decides to blame it on Syria and launch a US/UK/France attack, Russia will defend Syria and we could find ourselves in direct military conflict with Russia. NOW. Over THIS.
We are in the single most dangerous time period since . . . the Cuban Missile Crisis. Any stupid moves by anyone can have disastrous consequences for all of us, worldwide.
I hope you have your "preps" such as Emergency food, water, Guns, Ammo, Communications, full gas tanks in your vehicles and spare gas, because time is up. If this goes bad, it will go bad very fast. Suggested preps List HERE.
MORE: Reports of SAA shelling of militant positions in Southern Aleppo and Hama.
"FEROCIOUS BOMBING and SHELLING" forcing many of my sources to literally flee for their lives. Info may be sketchy for awhile. Sources tell me "Everything is exploding!"
2:26 PM EDT -- Syrian Arab Army official spokesman now confirms "Major operations now underway in Idlib Province."
2:54 PM EDT -- Strange lull right now. Not sure why. Waiting . . . .
3:36 PM EDT -- Now, nothing. No information coming out and no word on any social media of any ongoing attacks. It's like everything just . . . . stopped.
In a Moscow press conference Syrian Foreign Minister Dr. Waleed Al-Moualem said the Syrian Administration's priority in the initial stages of the Idlib operation will be the defeat of Al-Qaeda, the largest terrorist group in Idlib which runs the city with its Muslim Brotherhood ally.
MORE -- Reports of "very many" Turkish Army Tanks now being deployed along the Turkey Border with Idlib, as shown on the map below.
Not certain if Turkey is trying to secure its border from probable refugees when the 2.3 Million inhabitants of Idlib start fleeing the coming bombing, or if there is some other factor at-play here.
(HT Comment: THIS may explain the sudden halt to SAA attacks; Turkey may have requested more time to defend its border. They may have needed a few more hours to get their armed forces in-position to fend-off refugees. . . . but this is pure speculation on my part.)
Russian and Syrian artillery have started the softening up process that usually proceeds an offensive by armor and infantry, expected for the early hours of Monday (local time).
(HT NOTE: Syria is 7 hours ahead of US east coast time. "Dawn" in Syria is at 5:45 AM. Neither the Arabs nor the Russians are very big on night operations, so it seems that as of now, we've got 4 hours before first light of day.
Moreover, first light is also when the major barrages of Russian naval "Exercises" can be expected, which is a convenient thing for them. As a whole slew of Russian ship in the Med start their live-fire "exercises" who will know when the entire volley being launched is the "exercise" or is the live-fire destined for Idlib? )
Turkey has named an al-Qaida affiliate in Syria a terror organization to include the group's rebranded name.
The change comes amid discussions with Russia over how to treat the Levant Liberation Committee (Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham), which controls most of Idlib, and other rebels, as a Russian-backed regime offensive on the last remaining rebel stronghold appears imminent.
The Turkish update of a list freezing the assets of people and organizations with links to terror was published in the country's official gazette Friday. It comes with an appendix noting that the group's former name was the Nusra Front.
Turkey already considered the Nusra Front terrorists but the group rebranded itself in January 2017 and merged with other jihadist groups under the Levant Liberation Committee.
Though the group claims to have no direct ties to al-Qaida, it's considered a terrorist group by the United States and the United Nations.
(HT NOTE: So now we all know what the sudden halt to onset of hostilities was; there had to be a clear meeting of the minds between the forces in Syria as to exactly WHO in Idlib Province is a "terrorist/rebel" and now that has been decided. There is now no longer any reason at all for the Syrian Arab Army, its ally Russia, or Turkey which has forces along its border with Idlib, to hold back from putting a bloody, brutal end to the conflict in Syria by crushing the remaining terrorist/rebels infesting Idlib Province. Folks, when hostilities resume in a just a few hours, it is going to be a blood bath extraordinaire. "Dawn" in Syria is 5:45 AM local time, which is 10:45 PM eastern US time.)
"The trucks and armaments are rolling into Idlib. This will not be pretty for our families. "
Clearly something has caused a stoppage over there; I am getting ZERO word about any ongoing military fighting. I have reached out to every source I can, but am getting zero info. Given this is Labor Day Weekend here in the US and most of my contacts are on Holiday, I am presently unable to provide any reasons for the quiet. Still waiting even though sunrise is taking place in Syria now.