Military Events in Syria and Iraq Thread #4

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

  1. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,664
    The second Daesh pocket is now complete:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    And the Jabal Dahik, which fire-controlled parts of Sukhna and the Sukhna-Tayba and Sukhna-Itriya roads, has been taken too.

    The pocket on the Syria-Lebanon border is shrinking with high velocity, so for the last two or so days the change was like this:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,664
    The advance against the ISIS remains at the Lebanon-Syria border continues (an increase of the map above by a factor two):

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Near the Euphrat, ISIS has started a serious counter-offensive. In the region are now only not very strong tribal forces, which allowed ISIS to take some villages. Some villages have already taken back by reinforcements of the Syrian army. But it is quite obvious that ISIS has been able to spot a weak point of the Syrian defenses.

    On the other hand, the Syrian army has made a lot of progress in shrinking the size of the different ISIS pockets. NW of Sukhna a hill which controls a nearby road to Itriya has been taken, a smaller pocket East of Itriya has been cleared completely. And from the Aqerbat pocket the villages Mukayman Shamali as well as Salba have been taken. Thus, it seems the Syrian army is close to reaching complete control over the oil pipeline (the yellow line) in this region.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,664

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    One of the ISIS pockets has been completely cleared.

    The other news is that the Tiger forces have been moved back to the Euphrat and now counterattacked the ISIS forces which have attacked there the tribal forces. So now the attacking forces are endangered or even already have been encircled themselves.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,664
    A serious victory of the Syrian army near the Euphrat: The ISIS attacking force has been not only encircled but eliminated.

    The fight there was a sufficiently serious one - numbers of the losses of the pro-Syrian tribal fighters around 300 and of the ISIS attackers around 800 are claimed. The white are is were the encircled ISIS forces are claimed to be destroyed.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    The other news comes from the Syria-Lebanon border. The Syrian army has now full control of the border. Some remains of ISIS on the Syrian territory have accepted to be transported away with green buses to some other terrorist-controlled region, some 200 or so fighters and 500 people. On the Lebanese side, there is also some ceasefire for negotations.

    Interesting map about the advance during the last ten days:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Today there was also information that the Syrian army has, on the way from As Sukhna to Deir Ezzor, reached the border of the Deir Ezzor governorate. This would be the dotted line. And in the Aqerbat pocket this is also not the latest news, a more actual map is this:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,659
    It looks like the Iraqis, mostly Shi'ite militiamen in this case, are overrunning Tal Afar, the largest town still in ISIS hands in northwest Iraq west of Mosul.

    The town was known for its Islamic fundamentalism and has produced some of ISIS' most hardline Islamic jurists. So ISIS resistance was expected to be furious. Instead, resistance has been much lighter than expected. Many ISIS fighters have apparently fled or are pretending to be civilians.

    http://edmaps.com/Iraq_Battle_for_TallAfar_August_26.png
     
  9. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,659
    Here's a map of the current situation in eastern Syria:

    http://edmaps.com/Battle_for_Eastern_Syria_August_27_2017.png

    It looks like ISIS is collapsing and the Syrian Army is picking up most of the pieces (as reported by Schmelzer).

    In Raqqah fighting continues to be heavy and SDF advances may have stalled.

    On the other hand, there are reports though that the SDF may have pushed in from the south and reached the center of town, a square where ISIS infamously held its public executions. That's unconfirmed though.

    In more news, it seems that US soldiers in the vicinity of Manbij have been fired on by militias allied with Turkey (which does not like the US alliance with the SDF). The Americans returned fire and withdrew to more secure locations. No reports of US casulties.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/29/us-troops-return-fire-attack-turkish-backed-rebels-syria/

    More stuff about Tal Afar here:

    https://www.defense.gov/News/Articl...ar-syrian-democratic-forces-push-on-in-raqqa/
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  10. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,664
    Found a nice map of the population density in Syria:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    It shows that all the fighting now is essentially about the control of desert areas - which is important mainly because of oil and gas there. The exception is the Euphrat region and the Western parts of the Aqerbat pocket. Here, there is progress as from the North, as from the South-East:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    In the small almost pocket-like parts in the South-East and the North-East there will not be many fighters - the density of village names is also some indication of the population density. So, the question if the fast progress will continue if the more densely-populated regions are reached remains open. Many observers expect that cleaning the remains of the pocket may need some time. One reason often mentioned is that ISIS has some sufficiently strong support by the local tribes - so these are not foreign fanatics fighting here, but mainly locals.
    In the desert, there has also been some serious progress:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    The progress in the Northern part of this map is especially important - it has been reached after a serious counter-offensive by ISIS. It was said that a lot of forces, 20% or so of all the forces there, have been send from Deir Ezzor for this offensive. It has nonetheless failed.
     
  11. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,659
    The Iraqis are claiming that they have completely retaken Tal Afar. They say that this completes the 'cleansing' of Nineveh governate.

    There still seems to be some residual fighting here and there in rural parts of the Tal Afar area. ISIS fighters are still hiding in homes and in tunnels, but they are no longer successfully holding territory.
     
  12. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,664
    The Aqerbat pocket seems close to a collapse - the Syrian army has reached Aqerbat, some claim it has been taken, some say not yet.

    From the Eastern front agains ISIS there is information about the taking of two important mountains - the massive of Bishri, which was the largest remaining mountain region under ISIS control West of the Euphrat, and Harishba, which is the greatest hill remaining on the way from Sukhna to Deir Ezzor.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    So, this is already half of the way from Sukhna to Deir Ezzor, and, given the mountains around Sukhna, the more difficult part is already behind.
     
  13. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,664
    Very big progress toward Deir Ezzor:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Here the remaining distance is given as 30 km, but there are already news of the Kharata oil fields being reached, so that only 18 km remain:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Heavy fighting in and around Aqerbat, some sources claim that it has now been taken.
     
  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,659
    Progress to report in the one-time ISIS capital of Raqqah too. SDF fighters, supported by US and allied artillery, advisors and air strikes, have pretty much succeeded in taking all of the old city and have linked up from the south and the northwest, dividing the shrinking ISIS-held portion of the city in two. ISIS has been fighting determinedly and well, but their surrounded position is clearly deteriorating.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  15. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,664
    A first vanguard of the Syrian army has reached Deir Ezzor.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Technically, this does not yet mean that Deir Ezzor is deblocked - this would require complete control over some way through - but the civilians in Deir Ezzor are already celebrating victory.
     
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,659
  17. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,664
    Yes, they are very close, actually 1.8 km remain. There is heavy Daesh resistance, they have only today send 7 shahid-cars - fortunately all destroyed on the way. They have, of course, good fortifications near the frontline - some of them even against attacks from this direction, which they have taken when the US played ISIS airforce and "by accident" seriously hit the defenders, followed by a major Daesh attack. So, now Daesh can use these old Syrian army fortifications. The other problem are a lot of mines. So, it is clear that the last km are the most difficult ones.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    The attack follows many different directions. Which makes sense, given that the Syrian army has much more fighters, and can in this way find the weakest place to break the siege. The place named on the map "Tar as Sirra" has already been taken, the remaining distance from this point is said to be 1.800 m. Along the main road the Armenian cemetery has been taken already some hours ago, the distance from there is 3 km.

    The clearing of the Aqerbat pocket continues, some three or four villages taken. Heavy fighting with small advances already in East Ghouta.

    Seen a video of the military leader of Deir Ezzor Issam Zahreddine (a national hero) talking per mobile with the advancing Tiger forces on a front position, looks like already waiting for them, from some hours ago. Other already claim the siege is broken, but I would wait for a video or picture of the meeting. A lot of humanitarian goods are also waiting until the street will be safe.
     
  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,659
    Reports from multiple sources of heavy fighting west of Deir Ezzor. ISIS is rushing reinforcements to the area, including many of their most fanatical foreign fighters. Unconfirmed reports that the Syrians, who had been at the point of breaking through to their besieged comrades (delayed largely by mine fields laid as part of the siege defenses), have been pushed back a significant distance (kilometers).

    Unconfirmed reports of several Russian combat deaths, so there may or may not be Russian advisors and spotters embedded with the Syrians. Unusually heavy Russian air activity. The Russian defense ministry reports that they have flown something like 80 sorties in the last day in support of the Deir Ezzor attack.

    Unclear what the exact situation is on the ground, but it's more confused than it was yesterday. Islamic State isn't giving up Deir Ezzor without a fight.
     
  19. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,664
    So, the first pictures from Syrian soldiers breaking through the siege and reaching Deir Ezzor have appeared:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    But it was also said that these are only a few soldiers, so that there in not yet a safe cleared way from outside. The main problem is now the removal of mines.
    But actually there are also tanks from outside in Deir Ezzor, and victory celebrations.

    They are a lot of Syrian media actually there.

    The reports about the deaths of two Russians are official, that Russians participate there is not questioned by anybody. The counterattacks have been reported from the South, toward As Shola and Kabbajb - the last two villages on the road from Palmyra. This may retard the humanitarian transports which as necessary in Deir Ezzor, but for tanks and all what matters for fighting this does not matter. Anyway, the initial attack was simply going around them instead of loosing time fighting there. The connection is on the Northern side, via al Sanof hill, which was not (as on the map above) under Syrian control but was reported to have been taken during the night from outside. That ISIS is counterattacking, moreover in the desert, instead of defending what they can in the parts of the town under their control, and sending its reserves to Deir Ezzor is the best thing which can happen, they are welcome. The Russians have shot some Kalibr rockets into the Deir Ezzor region.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  20. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,659
    The ISIS-held portion of Raqqah continues to shrink. (About 1/3 of the city now.) The small enclave in the SW of the city is taken and it looks like ISIS will soon be driven from the government buildings just to the west of the old city. That would only leave them with a stretch of residential areas in the north of the city.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    The Syrian army's reaching Deir Ezzor is good news for Assad. (And certainly for the thousands of Syrians packed into that city to stay out of the hands of ISIS.) If Damascus can pick up most of the pieces of ISIS held east Syria (the Euphrates river area), then it's starting to look like Damascus may indeed regain effective control of most of Syria, with the exception of Idlib and Rojava in the north.

    Idlib is shrinking in importance. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (the former Nusra Front) has gone to war against its one-time ally, the Qatari and Turkish-supported Ahrar al-Sham, and driven them out of Idlib city and has taken the biggest border crossing that Ahrar used to control. As long as the Salafists in Idlib are battling each other, they won't threaten Assad as he consolidates his renewed control over much of the rest of the country.

    Rojava is another thing entirely. It's much bigger, stronger and has proven battle hardened fighters. The Syrian Kurds don't want to challenge Assad in predominately Arab parts of Syria (so they will probably let him have the Euphrates valley), but they won't surrender their newly won independence either. It will be interesting to see if Assad chooses to go to war against the Kurds to force them back into Syria.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  21. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,664
    For Assad, the situation is sufficiently clear. Actually, they must try to finish Daesh, and taking as much of the Daesh-held territory as possible. After this, they will find the parts of the territory held by Hatesh, former Al Qaida. Hatesh seems to be the winner in Idlib, that means, they can liberate at least large parts of Idlib. The interesting question is what the US will do after Daesh is finished: Follow international law and go away, given that the only legitimate reason, fighting Daesh, no longer exists, or if they will start to occupy parts of Syria.

    I would guess that if Trump continues to rule at that time, they may slowly go away, if Hillary takes over not. But Trump is too unpredictable, he may also start to occupy. Politically this would be stupid, the probable result would be another low scale anti-American war, remembering the Vietnam war. There would be parts officially controlled by the Syrian army, with Russian air defenses, and there would be the illegal Kurdish controlled part defended by the US. Wait for some Arab tribal fighters, together with some split in the Kurdish forces (they are not at all a very unified force) in a local civil war on that part. In this game, these officially local fighters would get the same support which the "rebels" have received from the US and Saudi Arabia. And this support would in this case not even be illegal from point of view of international law. And there would be US troops killed by these local insurgents. Not really a good idea for the US. But, of course, who knows - the US plays a similar stupid game in Afghanistan already many many years, and does not even want to stop it.

    If the US, instead, goes out and leaves the Kurds, they have no chance for a separate state. They will understand this, and accept some reasonable autonomy.
     
  22. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,664
    The Daesh fighters seem to concentrate in As Shola, West of Deir Ezzor. The Syrians have no necessity to fight them, they can bomb them and do this, there are anyway almost no civilians in danger in As Shola, so bombing this village harms nobody but terrorists.

    Remarkably, the main thing the Syrian army (after securing their yet non-optimal way, by demining some environment of it) is not As Shola, and not even the yet encircled airport (this is, also, fighting in the desert, so let's bomb them first). The way to Deir Ezzor is under control now, so that one can transport a lot of artillery and ammunition to this place, and once they work (and they can do much more than airplanes, and much cheaper), the breaking of the airport siege is a question of time, not even politically important. Here is what the Syrian army cares about now:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Finding a nice place to bridge the Euphrat.

    Everything else as usual, a few villages in the Aqerbat pocket taken is the most important other news.
     
  23. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,664
    The Russians distribute now information that the US has send some helicopters to the Deir Ezzor area to evacuate some people from the IS leadership. http://theduran.com/us-colluded-isis-deir-ez-zor-military-source-sputnik/

    The US denies this, but this seems to be not a complete denial, but the claim that they have evacuated some agents. http://en.deirezzor24.net/the-inter...peration-in-western-deir-ezzor-within-a-week/

    So, not completely clear what exactly happened, but it seems that some US helicopters have landed on IS territory and taking away some IS commanders. Really spies or the CIA guys who gave the commands? Who knows?
     

Share This Page