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Poking the Bear
#21
wow....I felt it was inevitable but sure didn't expect it to happen this fast. I thought at least a few more days...

Note once more that Russian forces are "first in":

Syrian And Russian Forces Liberate Southern Part Of Daraa City (Photos, Maps)
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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#22
today's video synopis:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gFDqT2XlAw


I think I'll start breaking these daily (weekday) videos out into single posts. That way those that want to keep informed but aren't particularly interested in the deeper dives (or my speculations :) ) can easily do so.

SouthFront does a good job with these IMO
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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#23
Truly epic scale ugly. This is directly across the Eurphrates from Al-Bukamal, the only Syrian/Iraqi border crossing Syria has hope of controlling in the near future. This is not the first time US air strikes against "terrorists" have been applied to this area. Iraqi PMU forces who are also trying to take control of the Iraqi side of this border crossing were attacked last time.

If fully secured and made safe for civilian traffic, this border crossing would open up an avenue for reciprocal trade between Iraq and Syria again. And more importantly short term, it would provide a land route for flow of traffic between Iran and Syria. Which is the real reason for these attacks. Neither US nor Israeli interests want so see Al Bukamal safely under Syrian control

Over 50 Civilians Killed In Suspected U.S. airstrikes On Southeastern Deir Ezzor


Get ready for more Israeli airstrikes on Syrian forces near Quneitra as well...here's the set up...same as the last one a couple days ago.

Israeli Air Defenses Use Patriot Missile Against Another Syrian Drone


I'd guess this is another attempt to distract Syria from its rapid gains west of Dara'a.

ISIS Conducts Another Hit And Run Attack On Syrian Millitary In Eastern al-Suwayda
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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#24
I don't see any chance of the U.S. leaving Syria in the near future.

Quote:The American message is clear:”The US will leave al-Tanf crossing and abandon north-east Syria in al-Hasaka and Deirezzour as soon as possible. The only condition is for Russia and Syria to guarantee a total withdrawal of all Iranian forces from the Levant. The US is ready to leave the Kurds and let these continue their negotiation with Damascus. The US establishment will recognise Assad’s authority over Syria but Iran must leave”.

Assad responded: “Iranian forces and their allies came to Syria under an official request by the central government and will leave when this government asks the allied forces to leave, and only when all terrorists have been eradicated from the Levant”.

“You – said Assad – came to Syria without any permission and occupied our territory. It is therefore our duty to push you out by all means. You shall not obtain by negotiation and peace what you failed to obtain after seven years of war”.

https://ejmagnier.com/2018/07/13/us-mess...rom-syria/
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#25
Hellzapoppin' in Gaza once more:

It looks like early Saturday morning local time, the IDF struck a Hamas tunnel from Gaza into Israel. Next, in rapid fashion:

1. 39 Rockets fired from Gaza into Israel

2. 40 airsrikes by the Israeli Air Force on Gaza/Hamas targets

3. As at 3:00 pm local Saturday, things had escalated to "hundreds of projectiles" lobbed from Gaza into Israel and "dozens" more daytime airstrikes going back the other way.

Hundreds of projectiles launched from Gaza in IAF and Hamas confrontation

It remains to be seen whether this will de-escalate or result in a new Israeli invasion/ground operation into Gaza.
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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#26
Meanwhile in Syria

1.   The Syrian Army continues to make steady, incremental progress in taking new ground west of Dara'a, mostly via reconcilliation  agreements.  No sign of the "break" I speculated might be on the cards a few posts back.  Movements on the ground look more like an attempt to completely  isolate that ISIS pocket from all sides.  Maybe a break after that, but looking more like my speculation was just wrong :)

Syrian Millitary Enters More Areas In Western Daraa, Another Key Town Joins Reconciliation

With so much being accomplished without serious fighting, it's not difficult to understand keeping the  momentum going at least until the ISIS pocket is fully isolated with absolutely no way out except the Israeli border.  Which could get very diplomatically interesting very fast once the real fight begins.   Keeping the push  on while Israeli  forces are busy  in Gaza has its attractions for the  Russian/SAA operations in Syria as well.

2.  Hyat Tahrir al-Sham (Al Qaeda in Syria) have come to blows in the north (Idlib) over the past two days.  Having two enemies fighting each other can only be a good thing for Syrian forces when Idlib is quite likely their next target after Dara'a/Quneitra.

Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham Beheads Senior ISIS Commander In Idlib

Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham Is Preparing To Attack Al-Fu’ah And Kafriya – Report

Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham Neutralizes Another ISIS Commander In Idlib (Photos)


3.  More US activity in eastern Syria, near Al Bukamal border crossing:

US-led Coalition Strikes ISIS In Hajin, Deploys Military Equipment Around It

Hajin is a good 25km north  of Al Bukamal, so the following from the report may actually have some truth in it this time:

Quote:According to a previous report of the pro-opposition monitoring group, the US-led coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are planning to launch an offensive with the aim of eliminating the remaining positions of ISIS along the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.

Currently, more than 1,000 fighters and commanders of ISIS are hiding in Hajin and several other villages. Observers believe that these fighters may resist the the upcoming offensive for a long time, as they are highly experienced and well-armed.


With Trump in Helsinki (with Putin), fresh announcements of US policy may  be forthcoming in a few hours.  Intensity of operations in areas other than Dara'a seems to be on the  rise.
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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#27
Iraq seems to be getting in on the act now with some pretty serious social upheaval


Iraq Protesters Storm Airport, Oil Offices Amidst Energy Crisis; Foreign Companies Begin Evacuations


Lots going on right now in many places.
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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#28
Someday the U.S. will get a reaction ...
https://twitter.com/ejmalrai/status/1017629291339747329
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#29
(07-14-2018, 07:44 PM)roamer Wrote: Someday the U.S. will get a reaction ...

I wish i could argue the point :/ I can't. Elijah Magnier isn't wrong very often.
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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#30
Things calmed down a bit overnight and today in Israel and the Gaza strip. Hamas announced they were accepting an Egyptian brokered cease fire and most of the rocket attacks into Israel stoppped. There were a couple airstrikes into Gaza and some incendiary kites and balloons were launched at Israel but the overall tension seems to be declining.

As usual, the hawks inside the Israeli government are taking this opportunity to call for a major ground operation into Gaza. They tend to make these calls at the slightest provocation so its hard to say if it will be acted on. The fact it's happening is pretty normal for situations like this.

Bennett dismisses ceasefire, calls for large scale IDF operation in Gaza"I don't believe that we should allow Hamas, after 100 days and over 200 rockets, to dictate conditions to us."


Security cabinet decides IDF will respond to all kites and balloons


We have not seen any Israeli retaliation for the drone flown from Syria over the Golan a day or so ago. This may be why:

New Photos Reveal That Israel Shot Down Russian UAV In Southern Syria (Photos)
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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