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Poking the Bear
#11
Syria's rapid advances in the Dara'a area continue with the latest development involving completely encircling rebels holding the southern half of the city itself. Surrender appears to be inevitable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38aTO2wHGTc


Good grief we haven't even begun to touch on what's going on in Idlib, and the likelihood of US forces leaving Al Tanf voluntarily seems to be increasing so I'm betting Idlib will be the next focus of the Syrian push to regain its territory.

And tensions are still high around Manbij with the Turks claiming a Kurdish pull back has been agreed to and the Kurdish SDF saying they'll fight Turkish forces if they attempt to enter Manbij.

In the south, capturing the main border crossing with Jordan was a major achievement (at Naseeb) leaving two more major border crossings to retake. One is just Northwest of Dara'a (they'll have this one in a day or two more) and the other is controlled by US forces in Al Tanf.

As expected, the Israeli threats and warnings are coming more frequently the closer Syrian forces get to the Golan.

Tel Aviv Sends Another Threat To Damascus As Syrian Forces Retake Another Chunk Of Border With Jordan

No fresh reports out of Yemen in the past two days so things seem to be in a temporary lull there.
A mountain tree, if it would see, the far horizon and the stars;  May never know a sheltered place, nor grow symmetrical in grace;  Such trees must battle doggedly, the blasts and bear the scars.

Marion Loyal Thompson
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#12
(07-09-2018, 08:34 PM)Jostler Wrote: Do you know what Yulia's view of Donbass and Luhansk is?

Yulia's view of Donbass and Luhansk?? "Nuke them all!"

No kidding, see https://thesaker.is/yulia-tymoshenko-wan...e-ukraine/
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#13
Orwellian perpetual warfare...
In times of universal Idiocy... Critical thought becomes a revolutionary act! CUI BONO?
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#14
VICTORY TO SYRIA!

[Image: i2z4FsY.jpg]
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#15
Another excellent SouthFront video synopsis of yesterday's developments in Syria.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mqscg1di2P8


I had some time to study maps yesterday and learned some things about the terrain west of Dara'a, which in turn fired up my imagination about how things might proceed from here :)

This fight for the turf around Dara'a has gone well but the most difficult and dangerous part is still ahead. Increasing chances of Israeli intervention as Syrian forces get closer to uprooting their pet ISIS attack dogs firmly ensconced (and well supplied) on the Israeli border will make this next phase a difficult minefield to negotiate, both militarily and diplomatically.

But, after analysing the terrain, I see the possibility of an absolutely brilliant strategy on the part of Syria (and more likely their Russian military advisors).

If I'm right, we may see a temporary pause in the Syrian assaults to give the Syrian soldiers a short break to rest and relax...and dig in. This break might also serve to let internecine struggles between terrorist/rebel factions to rise to the level of fighting among themselves (as it already is in Idlib). Every terrorist that kills another terrorist is one that doesn't risk the life of a Syrian soldier to take out. Never interfere with the enemy when he's busy destroying himself :)

We'll see.

Idlib will be next, but probably not in any significant way until Dara'a and Quneitra are pretty well secured. Quneitra may yet take a while. That area may yet take a while to secure.
A mountain tree, if it would see, the far horizon and the stars;  May never know a sheltered place, nor grow symmetrical in grace;  Such trees must battle doggedly, the blasts and bear the scars.

Marion Loyal Thompson
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#16
ISIS KNOWS THEIR DAY IS CLOSING

ISIS Suicide Bomber Targets Syrian Army Troops In Western Daraa. Casualties Reported

Since this is probably what's "next" in southern Syria, identifying the players may be helpful going forward.  There are three primary players on the opposition side if you disount  Israeli involvement for now.  Israeli assistance in the  form of war materiel and medical care for the  ISIS fighters snuggled directly up against Israeli borders is well documented by YEARS of reports.  Indisputable.

Other than that we have ISIS, Hyat Tahrir al Sham (formerly Al Qaeda in Syria - only the name has changed) and the FSE or Free Syrian Army (rebels in opposition to Assad's government in Syria.  There are several other small splinter terrorist groups on the ground but the three named above are the biggest).

ISIS is a CIA/MI6/Khazarian creation, with the support of Saudi Arabia and the GCC.  McStain's army.

Hyat Tahrir al Sham is Al Qaeda "reformed" into "moderate rebel" status and primarily supported by their CIA/NATO/US sphere backers (which has weakened considerably lately for debatable reasons).

The Free Syrian Army is a tiny core of legitimate Syrian rebels massively reinforced with Sunni/Wahabbist Saudis and foreign soldiers of the Sunni/Wahabbist persuasion brought  in from many different foreign nations.

Of the three, ISIS is the only group that  still has reliable resupply lines.  Syria has effectively slowed down access to resupply for the other two...if not eliminating their ability to refit and  rearm  entirely.  It is entirely possible Israel will step  up  and demand that supplies from Israel be allowed through ISIS controlled territory to these  other factions, but I've not seen any reports indicating its happening yet.

All three of these factions are competitors, not allies.  They  don't necessarily like  one another and have fought among themselves quite frequently in the  past.

HTS and the FSE *might* be enticed into a reconciliation agreement that allowed them to turn over their heavy weapons, keep their light weapons (rifles) and be escorted to Idlib in the near future.  The Syrian army has already  created a situation where it's impossible to imagine them winning a fight.

That's one basis for my speculation that Syria just might take a pause once the immediate area around Dara'a is secure ...it  would allow for a bit  of R and R for Syrian soldiers, refit, rearm, repair and dig in for the real fight in a few weeks.  (I  could be way  wrong on this...they may  choose momentum and press toward Quneitra immediately but for now I'm guessing otherwise).

The second benefit of a short cessation  of the Syrian military  advance would be to allow friction between the  three  factions to fester, and give the  HTS/FSE factions time to realize the hopelessness of their current military future and negotiate a deal.  Syria would be almost as happy with a "resettlement to Idlib" deal as they would with an unconditional surrender and Idlib is why :)   A subject for another  post but sending opposition that  refuses to surrender  to  Idlib is  simply brilliant strategy preparing for the day Syria has to confront Turkish control of Idlib.  Syria has been packing Idlib with 'reconciliation agreement' terrorists for  months and months  now and the "why" is becoming more clear and making more sense to me all the time.

If you look at the map in the link posted above, you'll see why I had to study the topography of that area west of Dara'a.  See that little finger of red all along the Jordanian border toward the northwest?   As a soldier, that  alarmed me...why would you put your forces into Zaizoun wayyyy out there at the end of a slender finger of territory and risk having them cut off, surrounded and defeated?   The terrain shows  why.  And it's brilliant IMO :)

Zaizoun is the center of a shallow bowl protected on three sides by waterways across which  ground attacks would be exceedingly difficult and next to impossible to hide.  Due east of Zaizoun land slopes very gently upward and away  from Zaizoun and its agricultural fields, very  open land...again making surprise ground attack nearly impossible and attackers would be VERY vulnerable to both artillery and air attack if they tried.

To the northeast and the north, acrosss that convenient natural "moat" provided by the river valley, the land also slopes gently up and away from Zaizoun giving artillery stationed in Zaizoun effective fire control over ISIS territory for close to 20 km.  If the Syrian Army installs artillery firebases in the area, they will have the ability to provide artillery support to ground forces on a moment's notice over a VAST stretch of  the heart of the ISIS controlled zone.

And here's the icing on the cake.  Just due east of Zaizoun is the tiny remaining sliver of the Jordanian border that is not yet under Syrian control.   And the border is the river.  It's north shore is 700 to 1000 feet above the river and the south shore is Jordanian territory ranging from 1000 to 1300 feet in elevation.  It's a freaking killing field across which ISIS cannot hope to escape, nor can any effective resupply operations be conducted across that chasm.  

When the battles for that turf begin, ISIS will have no place to run but....ISRAEL.   freaking brilliant.

Sorry for writing a book...I got excitimicated :)  There's more but it'll wait :)

The short of it is, take a break, DIG IN IN ZAIZOUN, hope the time results in some internecine fighting and/or reconciliation/surrender.....then pounce after a good rest.


Time will tell if I've made some good guesses here or I just might be all wet :)
A mountain tree, if it would see, the far horizon and the stars;  May never know a sheltered place, nor grow symmetrical in grace;  Such trees must battle doggedly, the blasts and bear the scars.

Marion Loyal Thompson
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#17
The area due west of Zaizoun continues to fall to reconciliation agreements in rapid fashion. Tafas and Yaduhad are under Syrian control now.

Muzayrib is the only remaining developed area west of Zaizoun not yet under Syrian control. I'm skeptical about its ability to stand much longer. They'll likely be targeted for military operations if they don't reconcile quickly and with two good roads coming in from Syrian controlled territory from two directions, Syria can bring a lot of men and equipment to bear very rapidly.

Syia continues to slowly tighten the noose around the militants now besieged in the southern half of Dara'a city proper.

Russian Military Police Entered Tafas Town In Western Daraa Following Successful Negotiation (Photos)

Map Update: Government Forces Retake Control Of Yadudah, Nearby Points In Southern Syria


I won't be surprised if this becomes a pretext for another Israeli airstrike on SAA forces in coming hours:

Israeli Air Defense Shots Down Syrian Drone Near Golan Heights
A mountain tree, if it would see, the far horizon and the stars;  May never know a sheltered place, nor grow symmetrical in grace;  Such trees must battle doggedly, the blasts and bear the scars.

Marion Loyal Thompson
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#18
In other parts of Syria:

The Kurds (YPG) in the far northwest corner of Syria are apparently executing a number of quite successful guerilla attacks  on the Turkish supported terrorists and rebels  in the  area.   Turkey has studiously ignored infighting among the various militias in Idlib, but their hatred of the YPG makes me think this may get a direct Turkish military response.   Something  to watch.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kpXLgFYL8A


I don't have a good handle on what is being planned by  whom when it comes to the SDF (us supported) militias in northeastern Syria, but this is likely  to increase tensions.

US-led Coalition Supplied Kurdish Forces With 200 Trucks Loaded With Weapons – Report

One minute we seem to be on the verge of abandoning the SDF/YPG to their fate and the  next we're sending convoys of heavy equipment and supplies to them.  Whatever the story is Turkey  will not be happy  with  this development.


Things have been heating up in Idlib already over the past week or two. Turkey has chosen to ignore militant attacks on Syrian positions (enforcing the current deconfliction agreement is one of their (Turkish) responsibilities justifying their occupation of Syrian land), but the deconfliction agreement allows for SAA to respond militarily to militant attacks and they are doing so.

Syrian Warplanes Strike Militants’ Positions In Northwestern Idlib
A mountain tree, if it would see, the far horizon and the stars;  May never know a sheltered place, nor grow symmetrical in grace;  Such trees must battle doggedly, the blasts and bear the scars.

Marion Loyal Thompson
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#19
It didn't take long  for the  expected Israeli "retaliation" to show up.   Expect more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDRC1KTiPLU


It appears the whole complex of militas loosely labeled Hyat Tahrir al-Sham and the Free Syrian Army are ready  to capitulate.  If they  do, that well supplied and dug in ISIS pocket on the Israeli border  will be all that  remains.  

Government Forces Are About To Liberate Entire Daraa Province After Series Of Reconciliation Deals And Advances (Maps)


Note the increase in Syrian air force activity in Idlib to the  north.  Softening things up....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIyN3RIKA-Q


We are at a dangerous juncture with tensions  rising daily.  One misstep by any player  and things could escalate  rapidly.

One  thing I noticed is that  it is RUSSIAN military  police that first enter these newly taken areas as reconciliation  agreements are reached with HTS and FSE.  I'm interpreting this as more of the "high risk, high reward" strategies Putin has been willing  to engage since Russia entered this  conflict.

If ISIS should dare to hit  these Russian forces, Putin will have all the excuses he needs (including international diplomatic cover) to unleash the full might of Russian air power on that ISIS pocket.  And might even justify commitment of Russian ground forces.


Edit:  the area east of Quneitra (I suspect) will be treated as a second operation.  I am pretty sure the Syrians will not "push" toward Quneitra until that southern portion of Dara'a is fully secured and Israel's ISIS lackeys are driven out.  The Israelis on the  other  hand will try to provoke conflict in the Quneitra area, both to distract  from operations  to the south, and to get Syria to engage  that Quneitra area before they are truly  ready.

I think the next few days will be characterized  by  Syrian attempts to consolidate the territory gained in reconciliation  agreements, press toward taking  positions directly opposite ISIS held territory (and digging in), with  Israelis doing all they can to shift focus  northward.

Dangerous times.
A mountain tree, if it would see, the far horizon and the stars;  May never know a sheltered place, nor grow symmetrical in grace;  Such trees must battle doggedly, the blasts and bear the scars.

Marion Loyal Thompson
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#20
Hayt is directly across the river from Zaizoun, spoken of a few posts ago.


ISIS Expands In Western Daraa Following Agreement With Free Syrian Army

Quote:...The FSA accepted the agreement following a large attack of the Khalid ibn al-Walid Army on its positions in Hayt and Khirbat Y’ala. Under the agreement, FSA fighters handed over their weapons to the ISIS-affiliated group and withdrew to the nearby village of Zayzun.

A day earlier the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) carried out a series of airstrikes on several positions of the Khalid ibn al-Walid Army around Hayt...
A mountain tree, if it would see, the far horizon and the stars;  May never know a sheltered place, nor grow symmetrical in grace;  Such trees must battle doggedly, the blasts and bear the scars.

Marion Loyal Thompson
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