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18 August 2017

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r whitman

TTG- slight change of subject

Can you give us an update on what really happening at Mosul. Is the offensive there over?

FB Ali

TTG, thank you once again for this clear and descriptive report on what is going on in Syria. It is impossible to get any such view from the MSM.

The time you spend on unravelling what is happening is greatly appreciated.

turcopolier

All

Thanks to TTG for the great work https://southfront.org/military-situation-in-syria-on-august-18-2017-map-update/ As you can see the situation has continued to develop with link-up of the Ithriya south and north of Palmyra jaws. IS will attempt to break out to the east. pl

The Twisted Genius

r whitman,

I'm not going to dig deep on Mosul, but it does appear to be largely over. I've seen several stories about Russian and other "near abroad" children being found in and around Mosul. They will be repatriated back home. The Iraqi forces, including PMU units are preparing to take on Tal Afar now.

blowback

I wonder how the MSM will respond when the SAA liquidates ISIS west of the Euphrates. So far there has been little or nothing about the SAAs substantial advances there, so for their readers, convinced that Russia, Syria and Iran are not really fighting ISIS, when they are presented with the facts, how will they cope?

Peter in T.O

All of this success against ISIS is sure to provoke another "chemical weapons attack", or has the Borgist cabal given up on that narrative?

Jonathan House

Much appreciated as usual. I have sent it off to many friends and posted it on Facebook.
sincerely
Jonathan House

Fred

TTG,

Thanks for the excellent insights.
"It will be regularly train ... and will be a great source of ulcers among the Israeli Defense Force. "

Perhaps the Israeli government should start talking with its enemies (real and imagined) so as to avoid having to have an actual war?

sid_finster

Same way they always do - by ignoring inconvenient news.

sid_finster

That would require entirely new Israeli leadership.

Anna

Agree. Though there is a minor hindrance: "Syria Found Evidence U.S., U.K. Supplied Toxic Agents to Terrorists." http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=16962&SEO=syria-found-evidence-u.s.-u.k.-supplied-toxic-agents-to-terrorists "The chemical ammunition were produced by the US-based company Federal Laboratories, and toxic agents were produced by Cherming Defence (UK) and NonLethal Technologies (US)." - Not a peep from the MSM.
"The future of IS in Syria is becoming clear. They are sure to put up a spirited resistance along the Euphrates, but they will never take Deir Ezzor. They will dissolve into a stateless, but still dangerous, underground resistance."
Wonder what country is going to encourage and support the underground resistance. My bet is that Israel will continue its subversive activities in Syria and elsewhere in the ME.

blowback
They will dissolve into a stateless, but still dangerous, underground resistance.
I have my doubts for what it's worth. It'll be a while yet before the SAA lift the siege of Deir Ez-zor so that meat grinder will keep going a while longer reducing the number of ISIS fighters. Then once ISIS goes underground, foreign ISIS are going to stick out like sore thumbs so they'll be gone or dead. Domestic ISIS have probably so poisoned the fish that they have no sea to swim in. And this is where the policy of not using Russian soldiers pays off - the now capable security forces will all be Syrian Arabs, and many Sunnis, which only the most rabid gulfie would describe as occupiers. So, one way or another all the domestic ISIS who remain will be reconciled with or by the government unless the SAA really screw up.
Lyttenburgh

The official video from Russian Ministry of Defense on Al Kadir assault:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkqVvLur-hc

In its official statement, MD RF mentioned that the operation was prepared and coordinated by Russian military advisers. Needless to say, those Ka-52s were Russian, which not only blew the jihadis to the high heaven, but also acted as fire-coordination support for SAA’s MLRS fire.

Oh, and Eastern Hama cauldron is already a reality:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHb9Zk_WsAAOFp2.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHb5EWmXkAAV6K_.jpg

FB Ali

The post refers to the future of the Islamic State (IS). This depends to a considerable degree on the composition of IS. (I don't really have a good sense of that).

It is clear that IS consists entirely of Sunnis. And, it has foreigners (non-Syrians and non-Iraqis) serving in it. Many of these are diehard fanatical Jihadis, the hallmark of IS. However, the large areas in Iraq and Syria that IS conquered, and is now defending, need a great deal more manpower than the fanatical core of IS.

These areas which IS captured seem to have been inhabited mainly by Sunni tribesmen, and it appears these tribes supported IS in the takeover. It is not clear how much of IS 'governance' was imposed on these areas; I wouldn't be surprised if most of it was left to the locals to manage. If so, it would be significant where this occurred and to what extent, since it can be assumed that these tribes would much more easily switch allegiance if attacked by a superior force.

If this estimation is correct, then one can expect that most of the real resistance that the Syrian and Iraqi forces will face will be from 'core' IS. These would occupy built up areas to enable their comparatively small numbers to be used to maximum effect (as shown in Mosul). This will mean that the anti-IS campaigns in both Syria and Iraq will be different from what one would expect if two 'regular' armies were involved.

What happens to the remnants of IS after it is defeated would also depend on its composition.

I look forward to reading other views and comments on this topic.

Ishmael Zechariah

TTG,
Thank you for the analysis. Perhaps Zahreddine and Al Hassan could pose for a handshake by January 2018. I have a question: if Syria keeps winning this way, at this pace, what happens to the aspirations of the Borg and their local tools who are now stuck at Raqqa? Do you envision the Borg trying to force Trump out before the game is irretrievably lost?
Ishmael Zechariah

walrus

The future of IS after they are defeated in Syria depends on their funding in my opinion. If IS cannot receive substantial financial support from their "benefactors", they will indeed be reduced to a "few old angry men in Mosques". Apart from killing as many IS as possible in Syria, we need to work out how to strangle their finances,, IT infrastructure, etc.

The Twisted Genius

Ishmael,

I just saw a report that Turkey and Iran just struck some kind of defense agreement. I mostly attribute this to vigorous and persistent jawboning by the Russian foreign ministry with the Turkish government. I think they are succeeding in changing Erdogan's behavior to something more conducive to peace in the region. Jordan is about to reopen diplomatic relations with Syria. The Borg has tied its wagon to the Kurds. If Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria agree on any one thing is the Kurds. If the Rojava Kurds are smart, they will drop their support for the US-led coalition and seek integration with Damascus. That is also their best protection against any Turkish incursions. I also get the feeling that the Borg is beginning to get equally tired of involvement and impotent in the area. They are losing their heart which is a damned fine thing.

The Twisted Genius

walrus,

Once the IS is defeated on the battlefield, I think the R+6 will continue a concerted, cold and dirty shadow war on IS resistance including their finance and IT infrastructures.

marku52

That seems like an excellent example of combined forces action. The fact that none of the SAA were casualties is even more remarkable.

Good work.

mike

TTG -

Lots of tweets out there claiming the Uqayribat pocket was closed yesterday.

Of concern to those forces were mortar attacks by HTS (Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham) on SAA checkpoints along the Salamiyah/Ithriya road NE of as-Saan. Not a Daesh (ISIS) attack but by the al-Quaeda affiliated group HTS. Attacks came from the north. The question is does that foretell an alliance between the Daeshis and al-Quaeda? Or was it a one-off. Or even potentially was it a bogus or mistaken report?

Greco

Thanks TTG. Excellent analysis as always. The good men in this fight have done well.

Babak Makkinejad

That area straddling the common border is inhabitated by very similar people; they speak the same vernacular version of Arabic and are related to one another. They likely provided many men to ISIS.

Henshaw

Thanks TTG for another piece of insightful analysis.

One wonders how long the US/Kurdish dalliance can continue. Will the USA decide the game's not worth the candle and withdraw support, or will the Kurds decide that they have had enough of being fed into the Raqqa meat-grinder as the quid pro quo for maintaining US support?

I suspect Damascus has already let it be known that it is ready to talk when the Kurds are.

Kooshy

I totally agree with your recommendations in regards of Kurds of Syria as well as Iraq, IMO, considering immediate geography and demography they can't have any rosy future tying themselves to US or Israel.

johnf

TTG wrote:

"When the Syrian Air Force eventually reaches maturity, those Israeli ulcers will bleed without stop. The political geography of the Mideast is about to change."

Apologies for being a foreigner, but two questions, tangentially linked.

The first is, if the present level of political pandemonium - even possible civil war - continues in the US, does this make the rest of the world a more or less safe place? We can live with occasional irruptions of the US bombing deserted Syrian airbases or shout offs with North Korea or even a shout off with Iran, but what if the present political stand off requires a fullscale war to "reunite" the nation? It would almost certainly be with Iran.

The second question, linked, is the future of Israel referred to by TTG above. It does not seem very secure with Hezbollah and a reinvigorated SAA right on its borders. Russia controls them. Is the only solution to Israel's sudden strategic weakness a deal between the Russia and the US, both guaranteeing the security of their respective clients?

This, if seriously undertaken, would certainly introduce an element of security in a notoriously unstable region. But it could also have other positive effects.

Much of the neo-con/Identity politics drive in the US was originally used to serve Israel's desire for instability within the Middle East and suzeraignity over it. That dream now lies in ruins. Much of the present neo-con and Identity Politics pandemonium within the US (and Britain and France) is driven by Israel's present insecurity. A Russia/US deal could end that insecurity. Positive results could include, with Russia being part of the stability pact, an end to Russia-gate lies, Russia the "big enemy" lies, and the fanning of race/gender wars within the States.

Two more minor questions:

1/ I read reports last week of top level intelligence and military talks between Israel and the US - anyone know their result?

2/. Anyone know what Israel's real relations are with ISIS in Sinai? Is it like her relations with al Qaeda in The Golan?

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