« 800 IS KIA at Ghanem Ali, Syria | Main | "US troops in northern Syria came under direct attack" - TTG »

29 August 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I wonder if the late Imperial Japanese Army can offer any lessons towards understanding ISIS mindset.


There's another pocket forming to the south of Suhknah in the last 'bite' of the Homs province ISIS still occupies too



Imphal-Kohima comes to mind. pl


The exact thoughts that came to my mind.

Babak Makkinejad


Ambassador Ford on Syria:



All due respect but I reckon the diversionary attack of the Japanese 33rd Army, or what was left of it, at the beginning of the Battle of Sittang Bend has far greater similarities. Effecting a breakout of the ISIS forces in Raqqa could have been the motive as nothing else seems to makes sense. Perhaps like the British forces at Sittang Bend, the R+6 had ISIS' battle plans and prepared a killing ground for ISIS.



What would be the purpose of such a diversionary sacrificial attack? pl


TTG, blowback, b et al

It has only just now occurred to me that IS may have thought they could break through up the M4 all the way to Raqqa or at least far enough to enable a sortie by the defenders. I didn't think of that because the notion that they could sustain that under RuAF/Syrian and US coalition air attack and SAA attacks from the southern flank is just absurd. There is also a report out therethat IS families are being allowed to cross the line of contct to go to Deir al Zor. pl

The Twisted Genius


I think you're right. There must be more IS leadership and fighters left in Raqqa than just a DLIC left to fight to the end. That was a hell of a gamble.


This Syrian war theater is such a tangled, confused, chaotic situation that is hard to imagine how and when it can be untangled again, alliances can be shifting on a dime and blow away with the desert sand, IMO US relation with Turkey although both treaty allies is becoming similar to (past?) Iran Turkey relations, meaning opportunistic regardless of signed ratified NATO treaty articles. Would US defend Turkey if Turkey is invaded by Kurds?




To perform a miracle by rescuing the ISIS rebels in Raqqa. As a religious army, ISIS feel a deep need to have God on their side and with the way things have been going, ISIS must feel God has deserted them. What better way to get back into God's good books than make a substantial sacrifice, kill lots of infidels in the process and have themselves a miracle. It could well be that the trigger was some ISIS member, who saw the words miracle and Dunkirk on social/conventional media and a light came among the few little grey cells he ever had and thought "that is what we'll do, we'll have our own "Dunkirk" moment".

BTW, if Raqqa was besieged by the SAA, this is the point at which the green coaches would be offered.


Good points. Crossing the river would have been challenge, but doable in their opinion with God's help. Timing and comms with the Daesh on the inside of Raqqah on when to make the sortie would have been key. But I believe that as Colonel Lang said previously that it was a "forlorn hope". Or like Japanese Army banzai charges that AEL impied to above?

If it had happened there would have been the possibility of more bloodshed between the Coalition and the R+6. Daesh fighting their way up the seams of the Coalition/Russian deconfliction line like that could easily have triggered more incidents. SAA or SAF mistakenly targeting SDF or Coalition mistakenly targeting SAA or regime militia. My take anyway.


Well, this might be related:
Daesh Terrorists Dress Up as SDF to Capture Civilians Fleeing Raqqa
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Daesh terrorists are dressing up as Kurdish forces backed by the US-led coalition in order to capture civilians trying to flee Raqqa, The Telegraph reported Wednesday, citing local residents.

According to the report, jihadists are pretending to be as the US-led coalition-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, waving Kurdish flags and setting up fake checkpoints to capture fleeing civilians.
ISIS from Deir Ez-zor attack through the SAA-controlled area just into the SDF/YPG controlled area towards Raqqa. ISIS from Raqqa dressed in SDF/YPG uniforms could then have literally driven down from Raqqa towards them claiming they were going to protect the SDF/YPG-controlled area from ISIS at any road blocks they came across, meet up with their ISIS buddies and all drive back to Maa'dan. Miracle delivered.
The only problem, the ISIS forces attacking the SAA/NDF/tribal forces didn't reach the SDF/YPG-controlled area, so the operation was cancelled but how to explain all the ISIS members in SDF/YPG uniforms in Raqqa? Perhaps put out a story like the above?


If Baghdadi is still alive in Raqqa, he might be in such a bad condition that the only way for ISIS to get him out is to drive him out rather than for him to walk out - could this be associated with the ISIS in SDF/YPG uniforms thing I mentioned above?


Two rolls of the dice, snake eyes both times.

I can think of an odd sort of logic to such moves in an environment where virtually every position defending the territorial integrity of the Caliphate south of the Euphrates has been overrun and the Syrian forces are advancing virtually at will. Defensive positioning means essentially waiting to be wiped out. Among the foreign jihadists who staked everything on the Caliphate there must be the creeping realization that they have absolutely no future. The tactic is also vintage ISIS - massive assault to break the front positions in anticipation of complete collapse and vast territorial gains. Problem is, it's not 2014 anymore and backing up the militias defending the front positions is a mobile professional fighting force.

There was a report reposted on one of the Twitter feeds - might have been Ivan Siderenko - stating that tactical co-ordination of the assault seemed to rapidly fall apart, possibly reflecting degradation of ISIS' command and control ability.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad