Situation as of 1 February, 2016 (game time):
The R+6 coalition of forces has expanded its area of control and operations:
- The siege of Aleppo has been lifted by a successful advance of R+6 forces on the Axis of Advance - Jisr ash-Shugur/Idlib/Aleppo (Axis Green). Priority of Russian fire support and CAS has been a mainstay of advance on this axis. MRLS and tube artillery greatly facilitated the advance. A Russian motorized rifle brigade is the backbone of advance on this axis. along with SAA, IRGC, Hizbullah and ethnic and sectarian militias The advance was coordinated with an offensive of R+6 forces NE to SW from the Aleppo government perimeter on Axis Red. The jaws of the encirclement met NE of Idlib in a classic kesselschlacht. Unicorn/jihadi casualties were heavy in the kessel battle. There were defections among the jihadis and many fleeing toward the Turkish border. A pursuit to the border closed the rebel held northern entrance to Aleppo. The city is now besieged by R+6 forces. The government of Syria has offered amnesty to FSA members in Aleppo and there have been many surrenders thus far.
- A large redoubt zone now exists from the Lebanese border on the south to the Turkish border north of Latakia and extending inland (east) to Homs/Hama. (Phase Line Blue) The north-south M5 highway is in government control as far the M4/M5 junction east of Idlib. A Russian Motorized Rifle Brigade is operating in this area east of the coastal mountains as reinforcement to SAA and militia forces present there. There was heavy fighting around Homs and Hama. R+6 casualties were numerous but acceptable with hospitals in Damascus providing second echelon medical care.
- Russian personnel strength in Syria now is 20,000 organized in a provisional Motorized Rifle Division (-), a regiment of the 7th Guards Airborne Division, artillery units, headquarters, base support troops and two RuAF Regiments. The Russians have reached the limits of their available naval sea lift and air lift for reinforcement and supply. They are now seeking to negotiate commercial sea and airlift on a charter basis from several maritime powers. It is expected that if further lift can be arranged the Russians may further augment their forces in Syria and/or Iraq.
- In January a combined Russian/SAA airmobile operation reinforced Kuweires air base SE of Aleppo. This was followed by link-up with R+6 troops from the forces that relieved Aleppo. RuAF units have moved onto the base and are conducting operations from there as well as the coastal bases.
- YPG guerillas crossed the Euphrates in an attempt to move west to link-up with R+6 forces coming north from Kuweires AB. This effort has been blocked by repeated Turkish air strikes on the YPG Kurds. Seven US Army Green Berets embedded with the Kurds have been killed by Turkish air thus far.
- Turkey is seeking to limit USAF use of Incirlik AB while at the same time themselves flying missions against the YPG Kurds and their American advisers from the same base. The Obama Administration has been accused in European media of using American soldiers as human shields to limit Turkish action against the Kurds. To this charge they have no answer.
- Iran has 2,000 troops in the fight and Lebanese Hizbullah maintains a similar number on the Lebanese/Syrian mountain border country as well as 500 men with the R+6 forces around Aleppo.
- The Gulf countries continue to support jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq.
- The Gulfie war against the Houthi/Zeidi people of Yemen continues to flounder. Saudi air continues to kill large numbers of civilians in what amounts to a Douhet style application of terror bombing. On the ground the Saudis and other Gulfie forces cannot "move" the tribal guerrillas and have suffered heavy losses in the Yemeni mountains east of Sanaa and in Najran Province, Saudi Arabia. There is considerable unrest in Riyadh among member of the royal family.
- China ??????
- Israel ?????
Game time is now 1 February, 2016. Instruction - Forecast events in this scenario worldwide through 1 June, 2016 (game time). Comments will close for Turn 2 on Sunday, 8 November, 2016. (real time) pl