Military Events in Syria and Iraq Thread #4

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Yazata, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    If the Syrians (and their Iranian and millitia allies) manage to punch through and take Abu Duhur, they will be in range of their forces south of Aleppo and hence cutting the Idlib enclave in two.
     
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  3. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, on this map one can see that after taking Abu Duhur not that much remains on the other side:

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    But there are already more optimistic (or simply more actual) maps which present the Syrian forces already much closer to Abu Duhur:

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    and there have been already claims that they are in Abu Duhur, or have fire control over the airbase. But here I'm skeptical yet, I have some doubt that they give up such an easily defensible place (there have been around 300 fighters holding it three years) for nothing.
     
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  5. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    There have been the first claims that the Syrian army has taken the Abu Duhur airbase.

    Yesterday there has been the first news about some counteractions of joepistole's friends. In particular, it was claimed that they made a counterattack at the road Abu Duhur - Maarat al Numan, which was almost cut, but which they succeeded to secure. As a reaction, the Tiger forces have simply turned East and taken a lot of villages on the Eastern front. Then, during the day, they have taken all the villages South of Abu Duhur. The key was taking Tal Salmu, a nearby hill, which gives fire control over the airbase. In the evening, there appeared news that they have started to attack the airbase and later news that it has been taken. Other sources yet deny this, so that it is not yet completely clear.
     
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  7. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    Here is a map about the supposed situation at Abu Duhur:

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    That would mean that the airbase has been taken and the fighting is in the town. On the other hand, there is information about a heavy counterattack in this region, with claims that some villages have been retaken. But nothing clear about the details. It looks like actually the airbase is under Syrian control, but the town is under Hatesh control. But other sources claim that even the airbase is yet under Hatesh, and all what the Syrian army has taken is the place on the map where "SAA" is written.

    Joepistole's friends started today some heavy counterattacks on the Western flank of the Syrian army. In particular, the villages Atshan - Hamdaniyah - Umm Harayatm - Tal Marq - Khuwayn (see map in #415 for their location) and some more have been taken. The Syrian army has already started a counterattack, and there are claims that the villages mentioned above have already been retaken. But there is also information that at some place (where Uigurs are fighting) not everything has been retaken.

    On the Eastern side, the Syrian army has advanced from Khanasser, and is now quite close to closing the pocket. As usual, they will wait until everybody who likes runs away.

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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    There seem to be attacks and counterattacks from both sides and the front line moves back and forth. The rebels seem to be putting a lot of effort into trying to resist the Syrian government forces at Abu Duhur and it's definitely a battle.

    I was going to make a post about that but you beat me to it.

    My guess is that most of the rebels have already left or are in the process of leaving that endangered area. Perhaps they are reinforcing the resistance near the town of Abu Duhur. One reason I hypothesize that the rebels have evacuated that area is that the small pocket of Daesh remnants (grey on your map) at its southern end are expanding north to fill what's probably become a power vacuum.


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    [/QUOTE]
     
  9. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    Instead of closing the gap and encircling the pocket the Syrian army turned North, first to Tal Daman (a hill which controls a lot of areas around) and then along the road toward Aleppo. The road is claimed to be under full control of the government, the North-Eastern half-pocket ist claimed to be cleared. There may be some remains yet, but nothing relevant and endangering the Syrian forces. (Information that this region has been abandoned by joepistole's friends are already some days old):

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    The attacks yesterday from a lot of different non-Al-Qaida forces seems dead now, with the Syrian army today retaking the remaining two villages takes yesterday. Instead, today Hatesh (Al Qaida) has started an attack from the Western flank. Their media have claimed a lot of success, but the Syrian side (inclusive a lot of different trustable sources) claims that they have reached nothing.
     
  10. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    There has been another map claiming the North-Eastern part is completely under SAA control:

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    On the other hand, there is information about the Syrian army actually cleaning some more villages in this region. And this variant sounds much more plausible and repeats what has been done against Daesh: Taking control of the important roads and leave the clearing for later. So, both versions agree that the Khanaser-Tal Daman-Aleppo road is under control.

    The more interesting points on this map are the three villages East of the Abu Duhur airbase. This also follows the standard technique of the Tiger forces - if there is a powerful fortification, encircle it almost completely, but leave a way to go out.
     
  11. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    Found a map with the imho more realistic picture of the North-Eastern part:

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    On the Western flank, the same situation as the last two days: Joepistole's friends attacking, their media wings making a lot of success claims without proofs, the Russian observers discussing which of the "sorts of shit" are attacking, based on information about the killed leaders. The impression is that now all those fighting against each other during the last months have made peace and now fight together but at separate places. Which is, of course, ideal for the defenders - attacks are dangerous if there is a concentrated power of the attackers, not if different parts attack at different places. (The last strategy makes sense only if there are not enough defenders to defend the whole frontline - but this is now a problem of joepistole's friends, not of the Syrian army.)
     
  12. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    Yesterday joepistole's friends were more successful, taking a number of villages. One explanation was bad weather, which made the airforce less effective. But it is not clear what really has been taken. This map shows one variant:

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    Today there is already news about some villages being retaken again by the Syrian army.

    The Syrian army has continued advances West of Khanasir, so that the connection between the Eastern pocket and the main part of Idlib becomes smaller and smaller. It looks like they want to leave a connection (the usual technique of the Tigers) to motivate the remaining forces to run away, and, on the other hand, prepare for reaching the Abu Duhur base from the North-East direction. The Syrian army has also started now attacks against the ISIS pocket from the South-East direction and taken a few villages. On the other hand, ISIS itself attack in the Northern direction, taking a lot of villages which have been probably already left by joepistole's friends.
     
  13. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    On the Western flank, several villages have been retaken by the Syrian army. Not all, there is yet a lot of fighting, but with a clear tendency of the Syrian forces retaking what has been taken. No news about continuing attacks by joepistole's friends, so they seem to be now in defense mode. That means, the big offensive has given almost nothing.

    There is also some advance in the South against ISIS - a key hill, which allows fire control over several villages, has been taken, the liberation of the surrounding villages is predictable. On the Northern side of the Abu Duhur airbase, the Syrian army is advancing too:

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    Looks like they could, if they liked to, simply cut the pocket, but they decide to leave a way to run away.

    So far about the actually minor changes on the frontline. The most interesting question is, instead, a political one: Will Erdogan start to attack the Kurds in Afrin? It looks like the US has already said that they don't care about the Afrin enclave. So, there will be no conflict with the US because of Afrin. Looks like the Afrin Kurds have not much choice: Or to take the fight against the Turkish army, or to give up an leave the Afrin enclave to the Syrian army. Comparing of their strength: The Kurds are strong enough to defend against the pro-Turkish gangs, but not against the Turkish army. The way how the Turkish army fights is known from how they fight the PKK in Kurdistan - the main force is artillery, they will simply shoot as much as they like, and this will be sufficient to advance slowly but certainly. All the Kurds can do is to take more fighters from the other parts of the US-controlled territory (there is an agreement that they can travel through the Syrian held territory, in exchange for the Syrian army allowed to go to the Syrian enclaves in Hasaka and Qamishli, and, given that this possibility is important for the Syrian side, they will not stop it). But if they do this, the Kurdish forces will be simply destroyed, with time, by the artillery. So, the situation does not look really good for the Kurds.
     
  14. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    sun tzu
     
  15. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    Looks like the pocket is closed now. The pessimist map is the following:

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    The optimist version describes the closure as much thicker, and that they are now trying to get some villages North of the road Abu Duhur - Tel Daman. Then, the airbase Abu Duhur has been taken. Fighting is now in the town Abu Duhur.

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    The other big news, probably even much more important, is that the Turks have started their offensive against Afrin.
     
  16. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    The Syrian army is widening the closure of the South Aleppo pocket. The following map for this region with the main advances:

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    The last village on the thick road as well as the village North-West of it have also been taken, so that there is now another road for communication from Aleppo to Hama. There was talk about some counterattacks against the Abu Duhur airbase, without success, and there have been Syrian videos from the airbase, without any shooting to hear, so that the airbase seems under secure control. There is also information about fighting inside the town Abu Duhur, but other sources disagree.

    The fight of the Turks against the Kurds has seriously started. A map about the claimed advances by the Turks, completely unclear how reliable:

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    There is information that the Russians have tried to negotiate, the Kurds have received the proposal to give the military control of Afrin to the Syrian army, and that in this case they will negotiate with the Turks to stop the operation, but the Kurds have rejected this proposal, they seem to feel strong enough to defend themselves. We will see.
     
  17. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    On other maps, the Turkish advances look much less:

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    Ok, this is not only because the map is not from the Turkish side, there really has been information that some initial advances have been reverted by the Kurds.

    The town Abu Duhur has been taken, and the complete road to Tal Daman is under Syrian control too:

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    So, a first step of the offensive of the Syrian army in Idlib has been successfully finished. I could not resist posting yet another map which (even if without these latest gains) gives the big picture of the advance during the last three (and especially the last) months:

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    The remains of the "moderate rebels" in the pocket have stopped the fight against ISIS and sworn loyalty to the Islamic state so that now the whole pocket is ISIS. This makes, of course, no difference. One village has been taken at the South of this pocket. So, I think this will be the future of this pocket: Step by step, village by village, they have time, this is not for the elite forces.
     
  18. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    After around a week of almost nothing happening in Idlib, the Syrian army started attacking in Idlib again:

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    There was even information that the town Abu Duhur was not taken at Jan. 22, or retaken later by a counteroffensive so that the first success was taking Abu Duhur either yesterday or 2 days ago. Whatever, now it has been taken, and at least today a serious offensive has started, with a lot of small villages in the environment of Abu Duhur being taken, with an advance on three fronts today.

    It looks like a first aim is to liberate the railway Aleppo-Hama completely. But this will be hardly the main objective. The main direction looks like Seraqib - Idlib. The Daesh enclave is another place which will be reduced, but with secondary forces - there is time enough for this, and the region does not contain anything important, and in the actual state it is too weak to endanger anything.

    The Turks have reached in Afrin some success, but it appears difficult to find reliable information. Up to now, I have found neither Kurdish nor Turkish sources which could be considered more or less reliable. So, I would not really trust the following map:

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    But even this map shows that the Turks have not yet reached a lot.
     
  19. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    The railroad is now under complete control of the Syrian army:

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    This could have been the final point of the whole action. Maybe not. We will see. No serious changes in Afrin.
     
  20. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    The advance of the Syrian army continues in the same temp. Several towns have been taken today:

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  21. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Question:
    Has the USA stopped their finding of terrorists(rebels) in Syria?
     
  22. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    Which specific factions are you labeling terrorist and accusing the US of supporting, and based on what specific info?
     
  23. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    There have been some reductions. But that does not mean that they have been stopped completely. My personal guess is that the part Trump can control has been stopped. But the CIA has a lot of money out of control, for example out of the drug traffic from Afghanistan, and can use this money out of control too. So I see not much base for the hope that it has stopped completely.

    The Syrian army actually cares about the ISIS-held pocket and reduces it from several directions, North, South, and today from the West too.

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