Russian troops in Crimea on high alert following Kiev’s missile launch preparations

Ukraine’s firing exercises are a sort of a PR-move aimed at creating a nervous situation, according to a TASS source
© Vitaliy Nevar/TASS

SEVASTOPOL, November 30. /TASS/. Russia’s air defense forces in Crimea are ready for Ukraine’s missile launches in the Black Sea and have been put on high alert, a source in the Crimean defense structures told TASS on Wednesday.

“Ukraine’s firing exercises are a sort of a PR-move aimed at creating a nervous situation but in any case the military perceive this as a real and potential threat and, therefore, the Russian air defense forces in Crimea have been placed on enhanced alert,” the source said.

“This refers not only to ground-based but also to shipborne air defense forces as ships of the Black Sea Fleet are self-sustained combat units for repelling any threats,” the source said.

The Russian aviation watchdog Rosaviatsia earlier said that Ukraine had unilaterally decided in violation of all international treaties to hold missile launches in Russia’s sovereign airspace near Crimea, in the area of civil and government planes’ routes, on December 1-2.

Ukraine issued a NOTAM (an aviation notice) on November 24 about the activation of dangerous zones in the airspace over planned missile launches on these dates. At the same time, the issue of closing the airspace over Crimea is not on the agenda: Rosaviatsia expects the illegitimate decisions to be cancelled.


Syrian Air Force Blows Up Tens of ISIL Oil Tanker Trucks in Deir Ezzur

Syrian Air Force Blows Up Tens of ISIL Oil Tanker Trucks in Deir Ezzur

 (FNA)- Tens of ISIL oil tankers were destroyed in the Syrian airstrikes in Deir Ezzur province.

The Syrian intelligence forces monitored the terrorists’ moves in the Eastern parts of Deir Ezzur and the oil-rich region of al-Abed and provided the Air Force with intelligence on the whereabouts of tens of ISIL oil tanker trucks.

The Syrian fighter jets then targeted the ISIL oil tanker trucks by pounding them several times and destroyed tens of them.

Also, dozens of other oil trucks were filling their tanks when they were targeted by the Syrian warplanes.

At least 40 ISIL terrorists were killed and tens of others were wounded during the operations.

In recent months, the Syrian and Russian air campaign have destroyed a large number of oil extraction, refining and pumping facilities in the territories controlled by terrorists in Syria, as well as thousands of tanker trucks used to deliver the oil products.

The terrorists have lost their main source of revenues from the illegal sale of oil, which, in turn, has limited their possibilities for the purchase of armaments, ammunition and the provision of money allowance to Takfiri militants.

A French fact-finding committee said on July in a report that the ISIL terrorist group has been facing very bad financial situation in 2016, while the number of its forces has been continuously decreasing in the recent months too.

“In 2015, the ISIL terrorist group earned over $3bln in Iraq and Syria, including $600mln from exports of crude oil and $300mln from gas, but after the ISIL-held regions, specially energy-rich regions, shrank the group faced sharp decline in its revenues,” the report, carried out by 60 journalists and activists, said.

“The ISIL had to find new sources of income. Trafficking of drugs, smuggling of historical monuments, looting museums, imposing high taxes on consumption of water and electricity stood atop the ISIL’s new resources of revenues,” the report added.

“ISIL earned around 900,000,000 euros from different taxes and also 150 million of dollars from trade of cigarettes and narcotics,” the report said, adding, “In the meantime, the ISIL that had around 30,000 of fighters in 2015, now in the middle of 2016 has only 12,000 combatants in the battlefields in Iraq and Syria.”

A captured militant from ISIL terrorist group who spoke to Sputnik news agency on January has bolstered claims that Turkey is involved in illegal oil deals with the Takfiri group up to the hilt.

24-year-old Mahmud Ghazi Tatar had revealed details about Turkey’s alleged oil links to the terrorist group.

“At the training camp in May 2015, our commander told us that the group sells fuel to Turkey. That income covers ISIL’s costs. The oil trucks crossing into Turkey every day carry crude oil, as well as petrol,” he said, adding that the ISIL group has enough oil to last them a long time.

“ISIL also receives lots of supplies from Turkey and Arab countries,” the captured militant confirmed.

The Russian defense ministry had also announced that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family members are directly involved in illegal oil deliveries from ISIL oil fields in Syria.

Turkey’s leadership, including President Erdogan and his family, is involved in illegal oil trade with ISIL militants, the Russian Defense Ministry had said, stressing that Turkey is the final destination for oil smuggled from Syria and Iraq.

Satellite and drone images showed hundreds and hundreds of oil trucks moving from ISIL-held territory to Turkey to reach their destination at Turkish refineries and ports controlled by Turkish president’s family.

Iran Ready to Allow Russian Jets to Use Hamadan Base for ‘Takeoff and Refueling’

Russian Military Technologies's photo.
November 29 – Last week, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said that Tehran could allow Russia’s use of the Noje Airbase in Hamadan for the aerial campaign against terrorists in Syria if the situation demanded it.
If the situation and conditions [in Syria] demand to provide the support, we will do this job,” Dehghan said.
In an interview with Sputnik Persian, Hossein Sheikholeslam, an adviser to the Iranian foreign minister, commented on the possible option for the Russian Aerospace Forces at the Hamadan airfield. “I’d like to emphasize that Iran never gave to Russia full control over the Noje base in Hamadan. This airbase belongs to Iran and all activities at the base are controlled by Tehran,” Sheikholeslam said. In mid-August, Iran already allowed Russian jets to operate from a base in the Hamadan province. The jets returned to Russia a week later, after completing their counterterrorism mission, which targeted jihadists in Syria. According to Sheikholeslam, all operations by Russian aviation in Hamadan were controlled by Tehran. “Tehran never gave full control over the airfield to any foreign country. This would contradict the country’s constitution,” the adviser added.
The use of the Hamadan airfield by the Russian aviation in August was the first time when Iranian territory had been used by foreign military forces since 1946.
As for the possible use of the Hamadan airbase by Russia again, Sheikholeslam underscored that “if needed the issue will be agreed with Moscow.” “If the situation demands it, like it was in August, we’re ready to allow Russian warplanes to take off and refuel at this airfield,” he pointed out. The Russian Aerospace Forces may need to use the Hamadan airbase if the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying cruiser deployed to the Mediterranean is far from the Syrian coast and cannot be used for airstrikes, said Viktor Ozerov, head of the Defense and Security Committee of the upper house of the Russian parliament.

Syrian army gaining control of Aleppo eastern quarters — diplomat

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman says the more progress is made in Syria, the louder are the allegations of some Western politicians and officials against Moscow and Damascus

    MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS. The Syrian army is gradually gaining control of eastern quarters in the Syrian city of Aleppo, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

“The Syrian army is gradually seizing control of the eastern quarters of Aleppo. Overall, it has been able to drive out illegal armed formations from 14 residential areas,” the spokeswoman said.

“We are noting the success of the Syrian authorities in the search for ways to cease the armed stand-off,” the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.


Moscow is prepared for cooperation with humanitarian agencies over Syria, she went on.

“Unlike others, we do not intervene in the internal affairs of Syria,” Zakharova said. “We reaffirm our readiness to cooperate with humanitarian agencies over Syria. We are adamant humanitarian matters should not become a tool to conduct a policy of pressures and flirtation with terrorists.”

 West’s geopolitical plans fail

The diplomat stressed the calls of some politicians and officials to introduce new sanctions against Moscow come amid the failure of the West’s geopolitical plans in the Middle East.

The diplomat noted the success of Syrian authorities in searching for ways to end the armed standoff.

“The agreements are being prepared on peaceful settlement in Al-Tall, where a committee of 200 people is expected to be set up to maintain order,” Zakharova said. “Syria’s authorities have already unblocked the road between Damascus and At-Tall through which foodstuffs and medical supplies are to be sent.”

The more progress is made in Syria, the louder are the allegations of some Western politicians and officials against Moscow and Damascus and also their calls to introduce new sanctions against Russia and Syria, Zakharova stressed.

“It is evident for us that some individuals are deeply disappointed by the failure of their geopolitical plans in the Middle East. They try to bite head off directly or through mass media outlets,” she added.


Bulletin of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic (November 29, 2016)

Reconciliation of the opposing sides

Within last 24 hours, truce agreements have been signed with representatives of 2 inhabited areas of the Latakia provinces.

The total number of inhabited areas, the leaders of which had signed reconciliation agreements, has reached 1005.

Negotiations on joining ceasefire regime have been continued with field commanders of illegal armed groups in the Damascus province, and detachments of armed opposition in the Homs, Hama, Aleppo, and al-Quneitra provinces.

Two ceasefire application forms have been signed with leaders of armed formations. The number of armed formations, which had claimed to observe the ceasefire regime has reached 88.

Ceasefire observation

Within last 24 hours, 40 shellings performed by illegal armed formations have been registered in the provinces of Aleppo (20), Damascus (16), Latakia (1), Daraa (2), and Hama (1).

In the Damascus province, armed formations of the Jaysh al-Islam grouping, which had claimed to be the opposition one, have fired mortars and small arms against Jaubar inhabited area, Adawi quarter, area of the al-Abbasiin stadium in Jaubar, and highway near Harasta.

Ahrar al-Sham militants have fired mortars against Azizi in the Aleppo province as well as positions of the government troops near Abu Ali mount in the Latakia province.

Armed formations of the Free Syrian Army have fired multiple launch rocket systems against Salah al-Din quarter of the Aleppo city.

In the Aleppo city, terrorist groupings of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Jabhat al-Nusra) and ISIS have fired multiple launch rocket systems, tube artillery, mortars and small arms against Binyamin (twice), Dahiya al-Assad, Bayedin, Leramon, Bustan Basha, Ramusi, Sheikh Hasr, Ashrafiyah, Shurfa, and 1070 quarters, al-Assad military academy, area of the former military school, Aleppo fortress, Kastello trade center, Hikma School, areas of the melon market and paperboard plant.

In the Damascus province, terrorists have shelled Arbil (two times), Blelije, Haush Harabu (two times), Haush Nasri (two times), Jaubar, and Bala al-Kadima, Ibn Sina hospital and electricity station in Jaubar, and al-Wafidin camp.

Terrorists have also shelled Tell Sheliya and Jaddiya in the Daraa province and Suran in the Hama province.

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

Within last 24 hours, four humanitarian events have been held, in course of which citizens have received humanitarian aid:

in Jibrin in the Aleppo province – about 3 tons;

in Masyaf in the Hama province – 2.5 tons;

in Khan Urainiba in the al-Quneitra province – about 1 ton;

in Kara Jaliya in the Latakia province – about 1 ton.

Posts with hot meal and items of first necessity continue their work for civilians who leave the districts of the Aleppo city, which are under control of terrorist armed groupings.

Russia: West Threatens Moscow with Sanctions over Syrian Army Advance in Aleppo

    Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday that western countries are urging to impose sanctions against Russia after 80,000 civilians were liberated in Syria’s Aleppo.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov said over the past 24 hours, the Syrian army had been able to liberate from militants almost half of Eastern Aleppo where 80,000 civilians reside, Al Masdar reported.

“Now it turned out that the release of over 80,000 Aleppo residents held hostage by gunmen was not part of the plans of the UK and French Foreign Ministries, the US Department of State and the German Bundestag. They even urged to impose new sanctions for that,” the spokesman said.

According to Konashenkov, there are tens of thousands of children in the liberated areas.

“Many of them were provided, for the first time in a long while, with food, drinking water and medical assistance in the humanitarian centers deployed by Russia. Over the past few years, these Syrians have been used as human shield by terrorists of every stripe and color in Aleppo. It was they who were allegedly protected by all Western politicians,” he said.