Military Events in Syria and Iraq Thread #4

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

  1. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    The Syrian army continues advances in West Raqqa. The Daesh airforce (sorry, US airforce) has shoot a Syrian plane, giving the official excuse that it has attacked SDF.

    The Iran has shot a lot of missiles at Daesh targets in Deir Ezzor governorate. It is claimed that the targets have some connection with the recent terror attacks in Iran.

    There have been several reports, I would say not yet confirmed, about some quite large advance of the Syrian army or its allies toward the T2 pumping station. Claims say that it is in visual range. That would mean that the Syrian army has now entered the Deir Ezzor governorate from the South. The claims what really has been reached are quite uncertain. The only map I have seen looks not very plausible:

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    If the map would be true, it would mean that the Syrian army has taken a quite important point, Humaymah, in complete silence. Which makes it implausible, but not impossible, because there has been a similar silence before establishing the connection to the Iraq border.

    PS: Rasafa has been taken by the Syrian army:

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    This is the key junction in this region, and the aim of the offensive toward East in Raqqa without caring about the thin connections. There is, North of Rasafa, another junction which would be useful to take, Shuwayhan, we will see who takes it, but it is less important, and matters only if one would like to go to Raqqa directly.

    With Rasafa secured (from the US), they can care now about the direct connection to Itriyah. There has started now some advance from Itriyah toward Raqqa, some hill taken.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017 at 10:03 AM
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I wasn't thinking of TOWs so much as smaller LAW rockets, which are more equivalent to your Russian RPGs.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M72_LAW

    Here's a similar weapon that's optimized as a light man-portable piece of artillery for assaulting fortified positions.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoulder-Launched_Multipurpose_Assault_Weapon

    There are lots of these kind of things and the Middle East is swarming with them. Turkey has them, Saudi Arabia has them, Israel has them. I wouldn't be surprised to see them turning up in Syria.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017 at 6:01 PM
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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    It looks like around 4:30 PM local time Sunday, the Syrian army (or its Iranian allies, or pro-regime paramilitaries, or whatever) attacked the SDF some 5-10 miles SE of Tabqa air base (west of Raqqah). US jets flew low passes over the Syrians as a warning and succeeded in halting fighting between the two sides. The US says that it also contacted the Russians for help in deconflicting the situation from the Syrian side. (The Russians deny this.)

    Things seemed to be improving until a Syrian air force SU - 22 jet appeared and started conducting air strikes against the SDF, causing casulties. A US Navy F-18E Super Hornet promptly engaged it and shot it down. The Syrian pilot ejected and his condition is unknown.

    Russia doesn't mention the SDF and insists that the Syrian jet was attacking ISIS positions.

    http://edmaps.com/Battle_for_Southern_AlThawrah_June_18_2017.png

    https://theaviationist.com/2017/06/...r-raqqa-syria-and-here-is-everything-we-know/
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017 at 7:50 PM
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  7. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    Russia has stopped the agreement for avoiding conflicts in the airspace, now all aircraft West of Euphrat is considered a potential enemy and taken on radar to be shot if necessary.
     
  8. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    If they're stupid enough to do so, hopefully we'll see the US respond in kind and put a stop to Putin's massacres and Iran's imperial fantasies.
     
  9. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Except that isn't true. The agreement is still in place. Russia is pulling a Trump, i.e. saying one thing and doing another.

    What happened to WW III comrade? You previously asserted that if the US attacked Assad's forces in anyway it would be WW III as Russia would run to Assad's defense and a military conflict would occur in which Russia would be forced to rely upon its nuclear weapons. Thus far, Syria has lost numerous aircraft and portions of a major airbase and a at least one drone to US attacks. After the US shot down Assad's aircraft yesterday and in a separate incident the US shot down one of Assad's Iranian supplied drones. And what has Putin done? Nothing, he hasn't done a damn thing but engage in some public relations stunts a la Trump.

    Do you really think Putin is crazy enough to attack the US? You had better hope he isn't. Just targeting US aircraft would be sufficient cause to take out your much vaunted Russian anti-aircraft facilities. You and your Putin cohorts had better think twice about that before you target American aircraft. If you think your egos are bruised now, how much more bruised will they be if the US takes out your much vaunted anti-aircraft facilities? Russia isn't well positioned for a fight with the US, and Putin should know that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017 at 5:02 PM
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Putin doesn't appear to be able to control Assad much less his own troops. Russian troops appear to be very undisciplined, it seems everyday brings forth news of juvenile Russian military stunts.
     
  11. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I'm wondering whether this latest unpleasantness might have been a mistake. The SDF has been expanding south of Tabqa airbase and the Syrians have been pushing eastwards, south of the SDF.

    So, did the Syrians know that the Kurds were in Ja'din? Or did they attack, thinking that Daesh still occupied the town? Or did this pilot think that he was attacking Daesh-occupied Shuwayhin, about two miles/four km east of where he was shot down?

    It's often difficult for pilots who are traveling at several hundred miles an hour to identify who is who and what is what on the ground. (We remember when some US jets accidently hit Syrian army troops at Deir Ezzor a year or so ago.) That's why forward air controllers are so useful in air strikes, since they can designate targets for the pilots. And sadly, the Syrian military lacks this kind of forward air control.

    http://edmaps.com/Battle_for_Southern_AlThawrah_June_18_2017.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017 at 4:57 AM
  12. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    Except that you have no idea about reality:
    And that Russia halted participation in the Memorandum on incident prevention in Syria has already had consequences: Australia halts airstrikes in Syria. The US has also modified their disposition as a reaction.
    No. First, I talked about attacking Russian forces. Up to now, only Syrian forces have been attacked. Then, I would never say such stupid things like that would be WW III. I have always only talked about a danger of such a development. Putin will not follow rough escalation tactics.

    The usual way to react for Putin is to react in ways which are quite harmful for the enemy, but do not force him into further escalation. That usually means that these things can be hidden from the public, or at least presented to the public in a way that does not create a public hysteria for retaliation. This is good news for you, because you will never learn about this, and continue to think that Putin has simply backed down.

    Near Al Tanf, for example, the aim of the US air attacks against Syrian or Iranian militias was to prevent a land bridge between Syria and Iraq controlled by pro-Iranian forces. The answer was simply establishing the same land bridge at another place. Now, the aim was to prevent that the Syrian army takes the key junction of Resafa. The key junction has been taken anyway. One Russian commentator said Resafa in exchange for one SU 22 is a good exchange. One can also expect that Russia will prefer symmetrical reactions. Thus, once the US air attacks Syrian forces, Russia will air attack some US-backed forces which have, up to now, not been attacked. One variant would be a hit of some positions where they know some unofficial US special forces sit. You will never hear about such things happening.
    Who knows. Afaik they have never been there, and are not there now, because it is now under Syrian control.

    A lot of interesting things happening in Syria beyond the main fight against Daesh can be seen on this map:

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    1 was an unsuccessful attempt of the Syrian army to take some important military base. It was taken, but before they succeeded to establish their defenses, there was a heavy successful counterattack.
    2 was simply mentioned as a place with an attack by the Syrian army.
    Unmarked was that there appeared a new enclave. The green region between 2 and 4 was a few days ago (and on some other maps yet) connected with the South. Today came information that this new connection between the Daraa and Suweida districts has been widened, the village South of it with the street connection which is yet green on this map was named as now controlled by Syrian army.
    3 marks two lines of attack in East Ghouta. Here the main attack is directed against Jobar, which is mainly controlled by Tahesh (Al Qaida).
    4 marks Bir Qassab, a important oasis, together with adjacent hills. This oasis has played an important part in weapon smuggling toward the East Ghouta enclave. With control of this oasis, preventing this becomes much easier for the Syrian army.
     
  13. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    No, you are changing your story comrade.
     
  14. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    If Russia wants to have an indirect shooting match and go after US allies in Syria, the US ought to be more than happy to enter into such an exchange. Russia already targets those allies as is and it lacks the capability to hit them quickly and effectively, it only has ~40 jets parked in the region and can't financially afford a major escalation. On the other hand, the US and its coalition partners, as any reasonably informed individual ought to be aware, possess a vastly greater supply of aerial firepower and the means to rapidly hit masses of vital Assad regime targets with surgical precision. At this point, Assad and his terrorist allies have a lot more to lose than his enemies do, and they'll have a much harder time replenishing their ranks compared to said enemies.
     
  15. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Good points, Russia's supply lines are pretty thin and very vulnerable. The costs of supporting Assad could quickly escalate, and with oil hitting $43 dollars a barrel and Russia's depleting oil wells, Russia can ill afford an escalation.
     
  16. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    We will see. Actually, it looks like some retaliation has happened: http://halturnershow.com/index.php/...ing-russia-fires-s-300-out-over-mediterranean If true, this is quite serious, more than I have expected. But the source does not seem to be high quality. So we will see.

    That some S-300 has been shot seems to be fact, there have been several reliable sources claiming this. But essentially nothing about the target.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017 at 9:11 AM
  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    None of your sources are reliable.
     
  18. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Oh yeah, a white nationalist convicted felon and conspiracy promulgator is so believable.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal_Turner
     
  19. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    It appears that ISIS is continuing to fight back in their beseiged capital of Raqqah. There have been several frenzied counterattacks northwards and to the northeast and the besieging SDF fighters have been pushed back several kilometers in some areas.

    So the new development seems to be what I suggested earlier in post #12, on April 29. The SDF is pushing eastwards south of the Euphrates in an attempt to encircle Raqqah.

    http://edmaps.com/Syria_Battle_for_Ar_Raqqah_June_22_2017.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017 at 4:11 PM
  20. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    As I have already explained, the source is considered unreliable, and I would not expect reliable sources about such events. Neither the Russian nor the US would be interested in distributing reliable information about this. The US is not interested, because this would create media pressure to retaliate, so it will distribute information only if they want to justify some military action as retaliation. (But to justify some military action, they prefer to create fake gas attacks. This would look morally much better.)
    Russia is not interested to distribute reliable information for the same reason. Russia does not want any further escalation, but, instead, stop repetitions. Information would create pressure toward escalation.
    But above cannot prevent unreliable, uncontrollable sources from obtaining and distributing such information. Some white Nazi would be, in fact, the person which, on the one hand, is too uncontrollable to be prevented from posting this, but, on the other hand, can have friends in the US military who know what really happened.

    This, of course, does not make that source more reliable. Whatever, this is not what matters. What matters is if the US will continue to shut Syrian/Iranian aircraft/drones, or if this problem will be, somehow, solved. If it will be solved, it makes not much sense to speculate how it has been solved. If it will be solved or not is what we can reasonably hope to obtain reliable information. So, we will see.

    Whatever, the Syrian army, after securing the key junction of Resafah, has now time to care about better connection with the mainland, and starts to care about control of the Itriya-Raqqa road:

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    The interesting question is if the whole area North of the road will be simply given up, or if it will be defended. We will see. Some advance East of Palmyra, near Arak. Near the US base near Al Tanf, in the South, some hill has been taken by the Syrian army. There are various informations about some ceasefire or peace agreement in the South, around Daraa. The conditions are not clear at all, and all this will be quite difficult, given that Al Qaida plays an important role in this region.
     
  21. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    The first map I presented in #81 and described as "not very plausible" about the situation near T2 has, indeed, not been confirmed, but now there have appeared some more plausible maps with confirmed advances in that region.

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    The three places near T2 have been named and confirmed to be taken by the Syrian army, which is supported by a lot of Shia forces, given the strategic importance of this region for the Iranian land bridge. That the governorate Deir Ezzor has been entered is sufficiently confirmed too. Another map describes this more as a movement along the border, which is plausible because there is a big road along the border, so it is natural to use it.

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    On the map I posted in #97, the remaining distance to cover is actually claimed to be 20 km.
     
  22. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Assad needs to stop attacking the forces fighting ISIS. It's really not that difficult.
     
  23. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    The US needs to stop attacking the forces fighting ISIS.

    And first of all the US has to leave areas where they cannot fight ISIS because they do not border with ISIS-controlled regions. So, in particular, they have to leave the region around the Al Tanf border crossing, which they actually occupy in clear and obvious violation of international law.
     

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