Administration. Remains the Same.
Scenario Turn 3
January 2 to 10 January 12
The Syrian government has now made it clear through broadcasts on SANA that it intends to clear Idlib Province and other west Syria pockets of jihadi control before the US presidential inauguration and then turn its attention to elimination of IS in eastern Syria hopefully with some degree of coordination with the US led coalition.
Large scale leaflet drops began on 1 January on known areas of jihadi control in Idlib Province exhorting jihadis and in fact all those now under arms in the rebellion to surrender under a government offer of amnesty with UN supervision and to return to their homes if not known to be foreign fighters or jihadi group cadres. The same offer is being made on radio and television 24/7.
Government forces continue offensive action along a number of axes in Idlib Province:
1. Against Jisr al-Shugur. The Syrian Marines continue to be the lead element on this axis. Progress is slow but pressure is continuous. Earlier reports of the presence of Russian armor following the marines have proven to be inaccurate. The vehicles involved are a 12 gun battalion of Russian self propelled 152 mm. howitzers who are engaged in firing into the Jisr al-Shugur defenses in support of the marines and NDF militia in this column.
2. Around the western and northwestern perimeters of government held Aleppo forward pressure continues at what might be called a measured pace.
3. LTG Suheil's Tiger Forces/Desert Hawks division attacked SW along Axis M5 on 2 January followed by the Republican Guard brigade that had taken Khan Touman on 1 January. A column of Heavy Equipment Transporters (HET) accompanied the force.
4. Russian 106th Guards Airborne Division was moved to the Lattakia and Tartous base areas from Tula in Russia in a well coordinated and covert sea and air transfer and was inserted on 3 January into an airhead on and around the former Syrian AF Taftanaz air base five miles east of Al-Fuah' village. Elements of the 45th Guards Airborne Brigade, which were reconnoitering the area since Christmas, seized strongpoints and marked the DZ. A Russian airborne battalion then parachuted onto the airfield to secure it. This was followed by helicopter insertions of the rest of that infantry regiment's men as well as sling loads of much of the division's artillery and mortars. Air landing operations began on the 3,000 foot runway within a few hours bringing in many of the division's armored vehicles. The division's artillery ranged to the Route 60 and M5 approaches from the north as well as in defense of the two Shia villages five miles west of the airhead. Revetments for artillery and aircraft are under construction. 106th airborne division minus the regiment at Taftanaz remains in reserve around Tartous.
5. Spetsnaz teams are adjusting fires for airborne artillery as well as the Russian 152. mm. SP artillery supporting the Syrian Marines and NDF west of Jisr al-Shugur.
6. On 3 January 5th Assault Corps makes steady progress across Idlib Province toward Idlib City against resistance that seems much weakened by the need to send reinforcements to the jihadis defending against threats to Jisr al-Shugur, Taftanaz and the oncoming menace of Suheil Hassan's task force.
7. Russian and Syrian tactical air continues to strike throughout Idlib Province on 2 and 3 January with a focus on road interdiction. Russian strategic air (Blinders) flying from Russian and Iranian bases struck repeatedly on 3 January along the M5 highway targeting jihadi reinforcements going north to engage the Tiger Force coming south to meet them. There were several Russian AF TU-95 Bear heavy bomber attacks on the St. Simeon Mountains west of the M5 crossing of those heights.
On 4 and 5 January there are repeated assaults against both the Taftanaz airhead and the villages of Takfaya and Al-Fu'a. these are repulsed with heavy losses to the lightly armed and somewhat disorganized jihadis. These assaults appear to have been executed to cover the movement north of a large group of insurgents past the flank threats of the Taftanaz airhead and the Shia villages.
On 6 January Suheil Hassan's task force fought a large and sustained meeting engagement astride the M5 highway NE of the Taftanaz airhead and within supporting range of the airhead's artillery and armed helicopters. After several hours of grinding the insurgent lines fell apart and they began to flee south on the M5 engaged along the way by ambushes set up by Spetsnaz, Russian airborne infantry and Hizbullah commandos brought into the area by helicopters. Jihadi casualties were very heavy and many attempted to surrender.
From 7 January onward 5th Assault Corps moved steadily northward toward Idlib City against diminishing resistance that demonstrated a weakness at least partly brought on by the heavy losses experienced in the Aleppo battle and the defeat suffered on 6 January NE of Taftanaz.
As 5th Assault Corps approaches the Jisr-al-Shugur to Idlib City road from the south on 10 January, jihadi forces withdrew from Jisr al-Shugur to avoid being by-passed and cut off.
On 11 January jihadi forces evacuated Idlib City and withdrew to the north through ambushes and interdicting airstrikes.
On 12 January 5th Assault Corps entered Idlib City.
Requirement: Give your opinion as to what further actions R+6 will take before the game ends on 18 January in game time and what the political situation will be on 18 January. pl & TTG