Report from Inside SyriaDecember 30, 2014
It seems that the US-paid Islamic terrorists which are labelled as the “moderate” opposition did their best to make Christmas 2014 memorable for the Christians in Syria and with the help of their Turkish friends again launched an attack on the Assyrian town of Kassab in Latakia near the Turkish border.
On the morning of Christmas Eve, militants from Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Liberators of the Levant Movement (Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham) attempted to infiltrate into Kassab from the Turkish border; however, they were repelled by the Syrian army as soon as they approached Eagle Mountain (Jabal al-Nissr).
The assault by Jabhat al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham was meant to be a surprise attack geared at retaking the areas lost last winter to the Syrian army and the NDF (National Defense Forces) in Kassab. The members of the army and NDF were well-prepared this time around, with multiple garrisons and fortified dugouts used to combat any militants attempting to infiltrate from the Turkish border.
Militants from Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham fired a barrage of rockets at the army and NDF positions, but they were ineffective due to the strong fortifications and retaliatory bombardments from the Syrian forces. The air force targeted multiple convoys and pinned militants near Jabal Al-Nissr.
According to a military source, at least 30 fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar Al-Sham were killed during this infiltration attempt. 6 Syrian defenders were also killed.
After their failed attempt to breach the frontline defenses, Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar Al-Sham withdrew from the outskirts of Kassab in order to avoid the persistent bombing raids from the Syrian air force. There are still firefights reported from the Turkish border, but the majority of fighting in the Latakia Governorate takes place in the village of Doreen.
The following report about Christmas in Latakia appeared on the blog MY CATBIRD SEAT and was received from correspondent Lilly Martin Sahiounie by email. Lilly grew up in Fresno, California, but has lived in Latakia for twenty years with her Syrian husband and children, now young adults.
For the last week we heard that the FSA and other Radical Islamic terrorists in Turkey were meeting and actively planning another attack on Kassab. Kassab has suffered missile and mortar attacks, but no deaths in the recent past.
Several days ago, on or about Christmas eve (24th) the terrorists began a push to attack and occupy Kassab again. The Syrian Arab Army was able to push them back to Turkey. However, the terrorists are not stopping. They seem to believe they can take Kassab, and then march into Latakia. Latakia is their true target.
The residents of Kassab, (there are not many of them left), were told to gather valuables and paperwork and prepare for evacuation. They did so, waiting for the HORN to blast announcing the evacuation to begin, but they waited up all night, and they were not called upon to evacuate.
I phoned my friend living there last night at 7 PM. She said they were packed up and ready to go, but would not leave until told to. They were hoping that the Army would hold the line and they could stay in their homes.
Last night, after speaking with her, there was a huge rain storm and temperatures dropped to freezing. I felt that was good, as the temperatures in Kassab would be enough for snow, and perhaps the terrorists would back off and wait for better weather.
Last night many tanks and soldiers left Latakia for Kassab to prepare to prevent the occupation of Kassab. At this point I do not yet know how the battle went over the night. But, a tank did just drive by my house here in Latakia, to take up a position of defense, which may mean something. We have never had tanks inside Latakia city streets, until now.
We have only seen tanks being transported through Latakia on their way to other places.
There is a mountain called “#45” which lies between Latakia and Kassab. That is a high elevation, from which you can see the sea and Latakia, since the city is low at sea level. This Mt. 45 was made famous during the period when Gamal Abdul Nasser was President of Egypt, and he visited Syria, and stopped his car there and got out, looking at the scene and panorama and stated, “This is Paradise”.
For some reason, the terrorists are hell bent on capturing that hill. In the previous 3 month occupation of Kassab they also tried to capture that hill. I think they may envision setting up long range missiles there, and shoot at Latakia, or other targets. In other words, they would be so high up, they could take a visual target on anything, it would be clear.
As far as I can tell the terrorists are not IS (Islamic State), but they are FSA and their Jihadist associates. Perhaps this is a last ditch effort for FSA to hang on to their USA paychecks? Proving they can get something done?
As soon as I know more, I will pass it on.
About the media, as recent as yesterday, BBC Lyce Doucet reported on Syria: “The Children of Syria”. Pay attention to the Syrian child who lives in the refugee camp in Gazientep Turkey. He and his family repeatedly say they are on Jihad, and speak about killing Alowi, for no reason except sectarian differences. I was amazed that given the chance, the FSA family would not speak about freedom, democracy, or the need to remove a dictator. Instead, they showed themselves to be only sectarian, without any need for freedom and political change. They used the word Jihad repeatedly. Lyse Doucet, in typical BBC form, takes every opportunity to blame the Assad ‘regime’ for everything from A to Z.
The second important report from the media about Syria was by the German journalist Jugen Todenhofer: 10 days in Syria and Iraq with IS (Islamic State). He gave an interview in English with France24. I thought the TV presenter might faint when he said that the people in Raqqa support President Assad. (as opposed to IS). He also said that the weapons that IS uses are all from US and European sources, and were bought from the FSA. I hope that Obama and the US Congress are listening!
The US tax payer should be listening to where their tax dollars are going: directly into the hands of IS, so they can rape, maim, enslave, and kill innocent civilians.