Aleppo - "The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) continued their large-scale offensive in eastern Aleppo today after taking a brief hiatus in order to negotiate a possible exit for the jihadist rebels.
With no agreement put in place, the Syrian Arab Army launched a powerful assault inside the final districts under jihadist control; this would result in a series of intense firefights that would last for much of the day.
Led by the elite Tiger Forces, the Syrian Arab Army managed to capture most the Al-Sahleen and Bab Al-Maqam Neighborhoods after overpowering the jihadist rebels of Fatah Halab and Jaysh Al-Fateh on Sunday afternoon.
According to a military source in Aleppo, the Tiger Forces and Desert Hawks Brigade are on the verge of seizing the remaining areas under jihadist rebel control, including the Bustan Al-Qasir and Sukkari districts.
In the coming days, the Syrian Armed Forces will likely attempt to negotiate a deal with the jihadist rebels in order to surrender the east Aleppo pocket in exchange for safe passage to the Anadan Plains or Idlib." AMN
IMO the Aleppo operation is going extremely well in spite of fits and starts caused by Russian desires to see a jihadi surrender that will do no more damage to the city than can be avoided and the fewest numbers of civilian losses that can be managed. pl
Palmyra - "Earlier this week, a massive offensive was launched by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in the Palmyra countryside, the Al-Masdar news portal reported. Terrorists targeted several sites, located around the city, trying to return the territories, which they lost earlier.
On Saturday, another big offensive was launched by the terrorist group near eastern gates of Palmyra. IS terrorists committed a successful suicide attack on Syrian troops and captured the strategic Grain Silos. After that, terrorists launched an assault on Jabal Tar. It was the first time in the last several months, when the IS has had a presence in this mountain chain.
As a result of these actions, the terrorist group is quickly approaching to Palmyra, as its members surround the city from all defensive flanks.
According to a military source in Tartous, the High Command of the Syrian Army is currently considering redeployment of its elite Tiger Forces to the Palmyra front in order to help to drive out the terrorist group from the area. However, there still has not been any official confirmation of this information." SF
IMO there is a lot less to the IS attack on Aleppo than immediately meets the eye. 1. The IS has maintained substantial forces in the eastern Homs Province since the government re-capture of the Palmyra area. 2. Government garrisoning at Palmyra has been what we "Clausewitzian Grunts" call an Economy of Force operation. IOW the inadequate manning of the R+6 on the ground country-wide dictated too small a force of too low quality at Palmyra. This reminds of the inadequacy of the US Army's force in front of the Ardennes in late 1944. 3. The fantastical theories of "underground roads, US weather intelligence, etc., are IMO just bullshit.
The jihadi scum now hold Palmyra City. OK . IMO what R+6 should do is get on with the job at Aleppo, and then move enough force to Palmyra to process more jihadis into fertilizer. My earlier idea to use the new 5th Assault Corps in this effort no longer seems good. These are volunteers. They should not be too bloodied too early. pl