‘Russian Navy is Back’: French Lawmaker Impressed by Fleet Day in Sevastopol

The Black Sea Fleet servicemen during the final rehearsal of the naval parade to mark Russian Navy Day in Sevastopol

 

The parade held in Sevastopol on the occasion of the national Navy Day spotlighted Russia’s recovering naval capacities, Nicolas Dhuicq, member of the French parliamentary delegation currently visiting Crimea, told Sputnik on Sunday.

SEVASTOPOL — Over 20 warships, 10 support vessels and around 30 pieces of the Black Sea Fleet coastal forces’ equipment performed during the parade to commemorate the victories of Russian sailors.

“During Vladimir Putin‘s presidency, there was an increase in military spendings, so we see today that the Russian Navy is back. The are only a few oceanic navies in the world: the French, the British and the Russian,” Dhuicq said, adding that he was impressed by the new Admiral Grigorovich frigate demonstrated at the parade.

According to the French lawmaker, the parade highlighted the role of the Navy in the Russian people’s history, especially for Crimea.

“A parade was quite big and popular event that showed a special link between the Russian population and the Russian Navy because everyone remember bravery of Navy forces during the World War II, specially, in the Black Sea and Crimea,” Dhuicq said.

The Russian Navy Day is annually celebrated on the last Sunday of July. This year, the holiday marked several milestone events in Russia’s naval history, including the 320-year anniversary of the national Navy to be celebrated on October 30.

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Bulletin of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic (July 30, 2016)

Reconciliation of the opposing sides

Within last 24 hours, truce agreements have been signed with representatives of 9 inhabited areas in the al-Suwayda (5), Latakia (3), Homs (1) provinces.

The total number of inhabited areas, the leaders of which had signed reconciliation agreements, has reached 310.

Negotiations on joining ceasefire regime have been continued with field commanders of armed opposition detachments active in the Homs, al-Quneitra and Daraa provinces.

The number of ceasefire application forms signed with leaders of armed groupings has remained 61.

Ceasefire observation

The ceasefire has been observed in most provinces of the Syrian Arab Republic. Within last 24 hours, 7 ceasefire violations have been registered in the Damascus (5) and Latakia (2) provinces.

Jaysh al-Islam formations, which had claimed to belong to the opposition, have performed mortar shelling of Nashabiyah, Arbil, Duma, Jaubar, Haush al-Farah, Harasta cities in the Damascus province.

In the Latakia province, armed formations of the Free Syrian Army performed shelling of Tauma inhabited area.

Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian Air Force did not make strikes on opposition armed formations, which follow ceasefire regime and informed the Russian or American Centres for reconciliation about their location.

Humanitarian aid to the population of Syria

Mi-8 helicopters have dropped humanitarian cargos (500 food kits) in the regions of the Aleppo city controlled by armed formations.

Low-income families of Bodj-Islam (Latakia province) have received 6 tons of humanitarian cargos with flour, rice, canned meat and fish.

Additional information

Groupings of Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS international terrorist organizations do not stop making attempts to break the ceasefire regime.

Within last 24 hours, terrorists have shelled the trade centre “Kostello”, as well as al-Zahraa, al-Khalidiyah, Leramon, and Sheikh Maqsood quarters in the Aleppo city.

Terrorists have also shelled following inhabited areas: Kabun, Bahariyah, Haush al-Farah, Huteita al-Jarash, Zamalka and Marj-Sultan (Damascus province) as well as the height 437 near the Narb-Nafsa inhabited area in the Hama province.

Russian tank crew showed the best time on the first day of the “Tank biathlon” contest

Russian tank crew showed the best time of the “Individual race” on the first day of the “Tank biathlon” contest.

Russian military servicemen overcame all obstacles for 23 min 18 sec.

The Indian crew headed by Sgt. Prabhu Thapa showed 25 min 02 sec. Tank crew from Kazakhstan commanded by Senior Lieutenant Zhanat Zhahin took the third place passing the route for 26 min 22 sec.

‘Terrorists Stand No Chance Against Assad’ as Turkey Sides With Russia on Syria

Rebel fighters from the First Battalion under the Free Syrian Army take part in a military training on June 10, 2015, in the rebel-held countryside of the northern city of Aleppo

 

Ankara has long supported radical groups fighting against Bashar al-Assad, but following a failed attempt to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Turkey’s upper echelons of power have had a change of heart, siding with Russia when it comes to the Syrian conflict, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN) reported.

The online newspaper pointed to the fact that Turkish authorities closed the country’s only official border crossing with the rebel-held province of Idlib, Bab al-Hawa, after the botched coup as evidence of a foreign policy U-turn.The media outlet further noted that this decision could be interpreted as Ankara having closed its border with the neighboring war-torn country, something that the international community has long called for.

Radical groups, including Daesh, al-Nusra Front and the like have used Turkey’s porous border with Syria to smuggle fighters, weapons and supplies in and out of the battlefield. But it appears to have become increasingly hard to do so.

“Mercenaries, who until recently received support [from the outside], hardly stand a chance against President Bashar al-Assad,” the media outlet noted.

Earlier this month, Turkey signaled that it wanted to improve its relations with Syria.

“It is our greatest and irrevocable goal: Developing good relations with Syria and Iraq, and all our neighbors that surround the Mediterranean and the Black Sea,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on July 13. “We normalized relations with Russia and Israel. I’m sure we will normalize relations with Syria as well.”These comments and other remarks made by Turkish officials came as a sharp contrast to Ankara’s previous stance on the embattled Arab country. In the months following the outbreak of the Syrian conflict, Erdogan and his supporters provided assistance to groups trying to overthrow al-Assad, once an ally of the Turkish president.

Syrian government forces secure a street as civilians come back to the neighbourhood of Bani Zeid, on Aleppo's northern outskirts on July 29, 2016
© AFP 2016/ GEORGE OURFALIAN
Syrian government forces secure a street as civilians come back to the neighbourhood of Bani Zeid, on Aleppo’s northern outskirts on July 29, 2016

Turkey’s new strategy in Syria has “greatly contributed” to Moscow and Damascus’ efforts to push the militants from Aleppo, one the most populous city in the country, DWN asserted.

In the last 24 hours, Daesh and al-Nusra Front fighters shelled several areas in Aleppo, including the Kostello trade center, as well as the neighborhoods of al-Zahraa, al-Khalidiyah, Leramon and Sheikh Maqsood, the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic reported on Saturday.

Meanwhile, 169 civilians and 69 rebel fighters who agreed to lay down their weapons have left Aleppo through four safe corridors opened by the Syrian Arab Army as part of a major humanitarian operation launched by Moscow and Damascus.

“We are feeling good now because we are under the protection of the army, may God protect them. We suffered a lot in order to be able to come here,” the Associated Press quoted a Syrian woman as telling state TV.

Iran Ready to Show Off Military Muscle at Int’l Army Games

International Army Games 2015 kick off

 

Contingents of the Iranian army, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Islamic Basij militia and police will take part in the International Army Games that kicked off in Russia and Kazakhstan on Saturday.

In an interview with Sputnik, Iranian Air Force Colonel Mehdi Ahmadi Afshar, the commander of the national armored vehicles team, described the Iranian squad as a “strong and high quality” outfit.

“We put together a strong and high quality team of regular army, IRGC, Basij soldiers as well as police officers to compete in Masters of Armed Vehicles, Tank Biathlon, Elbrus Ring, Clear Sky Air Defense and Depth Diving events to be held in various Russian cities. Our sharpshooters will also take part in the Sniper Frontier competitions in Kazakhstan,” he said

Colonel Afshar added that the Iranian team had undergone a six-month crash course honing their skill ahead of the prestigious contest.

He said that there had been a stringent selection of potential participants held in every service branches of the Iranian armed forces.

“This done, we worked at ranges and in classrooms and held a great number of friendly competitions under the watchful eye of professional referees.As for our prospects, well, it’s hard to say. All I can say is that, with God’s help, we will try our very best so that the Iranian people and our leaders are proud of our performance,” he added.

When asked about the importance of participation in the International Army Games, Colonel Afshar said that forums like this were meant to showcase the combat  readiness and might of the participating countries.

“The Iranian team is fully aware of this and accepts this challenge. We are also ready to share our combat experience with our colleagues. Forums like the International Army Games are a perfect place where you can and must learn many useful things.”

“We are ready to emulate various tactical and technical things from our partners from Russia and other countries, and get acquainted with the arms they use. We are looking forward to honest competition and fruitful cooperation with our colleagues here,” Colonel Mehdi Ahmadi Afshar said in conclusion.

The IAG, which started on Saturday, features competitions in 23 events. A total of 121 teams from 19 countries across the world are taking part in the Games monitored by observers from 11 countries.

The competitions include, among other events, tank biathlon, combat jet maneuvering, as well as contests for marine officers and divers, canine handlers and military medics.

The Games are set to run until August 13 with China, Belarus and Azerbaijan among the participants.

Syrian Army Wrests Control Over Strategic Heights in Al-Badiyah (VIDEO)

Syrian Army. File photo

 

The Syrian Army and its allied national defense forces have managed to flush Daesh militants out of a number of strategic hills outside the village of Tell al-Tut from where the terrorists controlled all other villages near the desert of al-Badiyah.

The Syrian armed forces are now poised to continue their advance to liberate more populated areas in the Syrian desert, the main stretches of which a strategic oil pipeline runs through.Backed by the Russian Aerospace Forces, the Syrian Army has made significant advances towards the Daesh-held city of Raqqa, killing scores of terrorists.

Meanwhile, in northern Syria, government forces have cut off all supply routes into the eastern, rebel-held part of Aleppo, which has been under siege since July 11.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad recently tightened their control of the only route into the strategic city.

Russian Military: Four More Humanitarian Corridors Will be Opened in Aleppo

A Syrian family walks amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported airstrike on April 28, 2016 in the Bustan al-Qasr rebel-held district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo

Russian and Syrian military are going to establish four more humanitarian corridors in the besieged city of Aleppo, in addition to three existing corridors that already helped hundreds to reach safety.

According to Lieutenant-General Sergey Chvarkov, the head Russian reconciliation center in Syria, four more humanitarian corridors will be established in the Syrian city of Aleppo in the near future by joint efforts of Russian and Syrian military forces.

“In addition to the existing corridors, we are organizing four more humanitarian corridors,” the general said.

Chvarkov said that the existing three corridors have already helped 169 civilians and 69 militants who chose to lay down arms, to escape the besieged city.

“In the areas of those humanitarian corridors we have equipped stations with hot food and medical assistance. The Syrian authorities have prepared six centers of humanitarian assistance, which can accommodate and satisfy needs of more than 3,000 people,” he stressed.

 

Russia has also prepared 14 tons of humanitarian cargo for those fleeing the militants, with 2.5 tons of food and essentials already supplied, he added.

According to the civilians who managed to reach safety, living under militants is horrible.

“We left with our remaining children. May God punish the rebels. They did not allow us to leave, they deprived us of gas, water, electricity and bread. We were not allowed to leave. There were no medicines. They used to tell us you live with us or die with us,” one of escaped women said.

“We suffered and walked a lot, may God curse the rebels. They did not leave food or medicine and by the time we left it was not easy,” another resident added.

Russian-Syrian humanitarian operation in Aleppo began on Thursday when three humanitarian corridors were opened in the city.