« "UK Withdraws All Troops Training Syrian Militants ..." SF & The Telegraph | Main | The So-called Russian Hack of the DNC Does Not Make Sense by Publius Tacitus »

04 September 2017

Comments

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

alba etie

All
If we take candidate at Trump at his word - it's always been the Donald 's goal to seize some bodies oil ~ might as well be Syrian resources heh

Bandolero

pl

It's very clear who's pushing for US-led forces to hurry up to go into Deir Ezzor province. Quote begin from AIPAC's spinoff WINEP, August 17, 2017:

The Race for Deir al-Zour Province

... if the Syrian army succeeds in capturing Deir al-Zour city, it will then focus on the rich al-Omar oil fields, which account for 50 percent of Syrian production, located to the north of the Euphrates between Mayadin and Abu Kamal. At both the local and national levels, these fields will be crucial in helping Syrian president Bashar al-Assad secure allegiance from area tribes. ... A limited SDF offensive, however, is possible in northern Deir al-Zour province. Yet the Syrian regime and its allies will work assiduously to prevent the SDF from reaching the al-Omar oil fields, because such a development would cut off the route between Deir al-Zour city and the Iraqi border, complicating Iranian plans to create their land corridor to the Mediterranean. ...

Quote end. Source: http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/the-race-for-deir-al-zour-province

And here is a description of the SDF units who may be going to Deir Ezzor. Quote Barzani-friendly channel Rudaw 25/8/2017 begin:

SDF alliance gains 7 battalions of Syrian Elite Force tribal fighters

Some Arab citizens displaced by ISIS in Raqqa who were previously in their own unit called the Syrian Elite Forces (SEF) are now falling under the command of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Leaders from seven battalions of the Bakara and Shuaat tribes announced in an SDF statement on Friday that they were “separating from the SEF and joining the Deir ez-Zor military council and the SDF.”

... In 2016, the SEF were formed and are led by Ahmad al-Jarba, the former president of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. ...

Quote end. Source: http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/25082017

However, there are ‘lines agreed to’ with Russia, now. Quote Russian RT, 1 Sep, 2017, begin:

‘Lines agreed to’ with Russia for final push against ISIS in Syria – US general

The US and Russia have agreed on zones of operation around the Euphrates river in Syria, where different forces are going after ISIS, according to the outgoing commander of the US-led coalition fighting the terrorist group.

“We have lines that are agreed to,” General Stephen Townsend, commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, said during a news conference on Thursday. It was Townsend’s last briefing from Baghdad, as he prepared to hand over command to General Paul Funk of the 3rd Armored Corps.

“We’ve established some measures south of Raqqa. Those measures extend to the east,” he said when asked about the “deconfliction” between US-backed forces and Russian-backed Syrian government troops in the middle Euphrates River Valley (MERV). ...

Quote end. Source: https://on.rt.com/8lwy

So, to sum it up: the think tank of the Israel lobby wanted the US and "rebel" proxies to take action in Deir Ezzor province. The US does it, but only after agreeing "lines" with Russia. Israel will likely not be very happy with that because it's likely that Russia wouldn't have agreed if it was not falling just short of what Israel wants - ie "complicating Iranian plans to create their land corridor to the Mediterranean." Such a limited US-rebel offensive into Deir Ezzor province might even be welcome news for the SAA and Iran, since it may just accomplish to weaken ISIS a bit, so the SAA has less problems with winning against ISIS.

Red Cloud

The only thing stopping "SDF" from moving on the oil fields weeks ago is being bogged down in Raqqa in my opinion. It could be that RAF prevented more Daesh from getting out of Raqqa than the SDF coalition estimated, but whatever the case it seems things aren't going as planned there. Maybe they will put Raqqa city on hold because time is running out, Tiger forces are going to cross the river and rightfully take everything soon.

iowa steve

".. if the Syrian army succeeds in capturing Deir al-Zour city, it will then focus on the rich al-Omar oil fields, which account for 50 percent of Syrian production, located to the north of the Euphrates between Mayadin and Abu Kamal."

How dare the Syrian government seize control of its own territory!

mike

The big Karatchok and Rumeilan fields are in Hasakah Governate and already under SDF control. The Shaddadi fields are for the most part within areas controlled by the SDF. Some primitive refining has been done and used in SDF vehicles. Some has been sold locally, but that also goes to regime forces and civilians in Qamislo and Hasakah city. No exports, no kickbacks to Trump or Obie or Erdo.

The minor oilfields north of the Euphrates in Deir ez-Zor Governate still under Daesh control are the Jafra field west of the Khabur river, Omar fields north of Mayadin, and Tanak field north of Al-Bukamal. These are small fields and the pipelines run west to Tartus through Homs. There would be no financial windfall for the SDF or benefit for the US. If those oilfields are liberated from Daesh, it will have a positive effect for the SAA and the Syrian regime and for Iraq. The innuendo in that Southfront article that the US intends to profit from Syrian oil is pure horse-pucky. Perhaps they think we would we fly it out, or truck it out? Or will there be another paranoid pipeline conspiracy story generated?

Another point: SDF has been in Deir ez-Zor governate for over 18 months. They are in a 3500 square kilometer triangle in the north that sits between Raqqa and Hasakah governates. To leave it under the control of Daesh would have been a major blunder leaving open their flanks in both Raqqa and ash-Shaddadi. Plus there is a secondary road going through that area from Hasakah City to the outskirts of Raqqa City that is an important LOC for SDF troops on the southern and eastern axes of the Raqqa operation.

Fourth: The SDF forces that will move down the Khabur axis towards the Euphrates are mostly if not all Arab, and not Kurd. Some of the Arab militias from that area agreed to joining the SDF as long as they did not have to work with the YPG. They are locals from Deir ez-Zor Governate. General Townsend said in his briefing that this operation was being discussed with the Russians and deconfliction procedures were being established for those areas.

IMHO this campaign will not start immediately other than in incremental steps south from Shaddadi. Not until after Raqqa city is 100% liberated, currently it stands somewhere between 60 to 70%. Plus too much training of these Arab militias still needs to be done. Or they may wait to coordinate ops with the Iraqi op to retake al-Qaim. Although when the SAA is successful at DeZ and if they then head SE down the Euphrates Valley, why bother?

Peter AU

Apart from being called back a couple of times to put out hot spots, Tiger Forces main task seems to have been working around the frontlines of first the Turks, and then the US. They may well cross the Euphrates north of Deir Ezzor and leave the urban fighting for later or for other units.
SAA has one Deir Ezzor tribe on side, while McGurk has been putting together a force of Raqqa tribes. https://www.qasioun.net/en/news/show/91030/Tribes_Leader_previously_Pledged_to_ISIS_Appearing_in_Pictures_with_Brett_McGurk_in_Raqqa

different clue

alba etie,

Any little oilfields in Syria are so little in terms of world oilfields in general that I have trouble thinking that particular oil would be the prize in view. Or the reason in mind.

What would be the reason then?

Anna

From comment section on The Saker: http://thesaker.is/syrian-war-report-september-4-2017-syrian-army-reaches-deir-ezzor-city/ "Syrian Army Reaches Deir Ezzor City:"
Zena on September 04, 2017
"Truly a victory for good over evil, the joy of regained freedom tempered by the sorrow at those who died for their freedom and a kick in the teeth for Satanism, evil and the stinking psychopaths who dreamt this bloody horror up in Washington, London, Tel Aviv and Riyadh. These subhumans should be hauled before a world court and held fully to account for their crimes.
Syria – the people of the world salute and applaud you. Let Syria be the line in the sand from which humanity can move forward to defeat the globalist Zionist menace...."

Bandolero

iowa steve

Yes, and the Israel lobby seems especially trying to argue that Syria must not regain control of it's own oil.

Ante

Now the destruction of the bridges in Deir e Zor and the facilitation of ISIS's attack on the Thardah mountains seems to have a clearer motive.

It would be a great time for an air assault force dropped on the eastern edge of Deir e Zor, but I don't think it's in the cards. What we've seen during the course of the war are a handful (2?) reported, both small elements of the Tiger Forces.

confusedponderer

Quite interesting post, thanks.

I wonder if the US support for the SDF is a way to make sure that the Turks would not shoot at them.

Turkey firing at the SDF would practically simply mean that Turkey is shooting at the US. Such an action would be incompatible with Turkey and the US being NATO allies. That can't be lost on Erdogan's mind, assuming that he thinks.

Whatever happens in Erdogan's mind, he should understand that and he should understand that if he did so anyway, there would be a price for Turkey to pay.

But then, does he care? After all, Erdogan is an Erdogan, and he acts like an Erdogan and only the Lord knows what he will do. So, who of us really know what he's up to? Perhaps the man who just abolished democracy at home also wants just out of NATO and feels that without ketting kicked out it 'doesn't feel right'?

ISL

Dear Colonel,

I would not be surprised if a neo con somewhere behind a desk is behind the idea. The oil fields are useless if the oil cant get to market, and the SAA can easily shut down any pipelines they disapprove of (i.e., bomb). The Kurds/SDF are not idiots and will, I predict, ditch the US in a heartbeat (as we did to the Kurds in Iraq). Well, they do say karmas a ......

Too many of the unicorn crowd remain from the last administration who believe that nations (militias) have friends (as opposed to interests). Trump should have cleaned the swamp before he sunk neck deep into it.

Poul

The Syrian army has reached Deir ez-Zour.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-syrian-army-lifts-siege-deir-ezzor/

That was quick. If moral has collapsed among the IS forces the rest of IS controlled areas could fall just as fast.

johnf

The Seige of Deir Ezzor is broken:

"BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:40 P.M.) – Minutes ago, the first tank from the Syrian Arab Army’s 17th Division reached the 137th Brigade Base in besieged Deir Ezzor, a source told Al-Masdar News.

The Syrian Arab Army was able to break-through the Islamic State’s defenses this afternoon after a fierce battle that lasted for several hours.

As a result of this advance, the Syrian Arab Army has lifted the 28 month long siege on the Deir Ezzor Governorate."

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-syrian-army-lifts-siege-deir-ezzor/

On an even more important, morale-boosting level, Syria is playing Iran in Tehran this evening to win a place in next year's World Cup in Russia. The Syrian team is a real rag bag of semi-professionals and amateurs in a country where normal league football has been almost impossible. But they are in with a hope.

Iran has already qualified so, hopefully, they will play the gentlemen and give Syria a win. Depending on a simultaneous match between South Korea (more politics!) and Uzbekistan, a win for Syria would either mean they could go straight through to Russia or, depending on goal difference, would have to play either Uzbekistan or S Korea in a play off. Sochi AND Deir Ezzor would be the ultimate confidence booster and morale booster.

A similar spectacular run in the Asian Cup gave Iraq's shattered morale a huge boost in 2008.

johnf

I don't know how reliable "Syrian Perspective" is, but it is reporting the SAA as having crossed the Euphrates at Al-Bu-Matar using amphibious T-90 tanks:

https://www.syrianperspective.com/2017/09/run-rat-run-syrian-army-enters-dayr-el-zor-rats-being-exterminated-syrper-predicts-total-liberation-in-less-than-5-days.html

I can find no reference to Al-Bu-Matar on a map.

Kooshy

"A Russian frigate in the Mediterranean Sea has fired a salvo of Kalibr cruise missiles at militants near the western Syrian city of Dayr al-Zawr"

One wonders this late in DZ war, what was the need ( was it a message ) for firing cruise missiles at ISIL in DZ by russian ships.

johnf

Syria have squeezed through to the play-offs for the World Cup. They scored early but then Iran came back to score twice. But in the very last minute of extra time Syria scored the equalizer.

AndrewW

The US/SDF and Russia/SAA have already forged an anti-IS deconfliction agreement that carves out who will control what territory in Deir Ezzor.


https://twitter.com/CivilWarMap/status/898911482943070208


Before the liberation of Raqqa was launched Al-Sanadid forces (Shammar tribe) alongside their al-Shaitat and al-Baggara allies in SDF's Deir Ezzor Military Council wanted to go for Deir Ezzor first, but the Americans, all the Americans I might add, wanted Raqqa liberated first.

It's unknown whether the Omar oil fields are a part of the SDF sphere of influence but if it is some kind of sharing agreement, like the power-sharing agreement from the dams on the Euphrates, will undoubtedly be in force. The only thing this means is that the so-called Rojave Peshmerga or FSA Southern Front rebels will not play a role in capturing turf in Deir Ezzor.


The SDF will not work with any force independent of their command in their territory at any rate. Warlordism is already a major concern in post-war Syria.


blowback

The Guardian grudgingly admits that the SAA might have liberated Deir Ez-zor but accepts that the SAG holds the most populous parts of Deir Ez-zor
"About 100,000 people are believed to be inside government-held areas of Deir ez-Zor, with perhaps 10,000 more in parts of the city held by Isis."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/05/syrian-army-breaks-years-long-isis-siege-on-deir-ez-zor

Liz Sly (Washington Post) initially proved she can't read a map or even AFP agency reports with claims that Deir Ez-zor is held by ISIS and the SAA had reached a base outside the city. That's been changed now to mention an enclave within the city.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/syrian-backed-forces-reach-besieged-allies-outside-islamic-state-held-city/2017/09/05/75ce908e-922b-11e7-8754-d478688d23b4_story.html?utm_term=.d7708eea479a

At least the Guardian and Washington Post have something but the c**ts at the "paper of record", the New York Times, have nothing on their home page or the world news page.

BTW, I wonder how soon some jihadist brother such as Abu Lister al-Britani will start complaining about the millions of civilians under major threat from the R+6 in Deir Ez-zor. When you do read of that remember the quote from AFP above.

blowback

"Warlordism is already a major concern in post-war Syria."
Really? For who? For the R+6? I doubt it, as they all believe in the state having a monopoly on violence. The Americans? Then they should pack up, go home and let the R+6 deal with the problem.

AndrewW

"Really? For who?"


Just about everybody. Damascus was reportedly forced to disband the Desert Hawks and fire a general or two recently. The Desert Hawks have always been kind of a rogue element despite their alliance with Assad. They were founded as a private militia. But I was primarily speaking of the SDF as a whole.


"The Americans? Then they should pack up, go home and let the R+6 deal with the problem."


This doesn't have anything to do with the Americans.

mike

Regarding the Qasioun news piece linked to above about the meeting between McGurk and Raqqawi tribal sheikhs.

Yes, without a doubt, some of the sheikhs in the meeting had previous dealings with Daesh; especially that one in the upper left corner of the pic, the one with red checkered kaffiyeh and the Baxter Black mustache.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHjBW6OUIAEDRvC.jpg

Don’t know his name although his pic smooshing with Daesh leaders has been seen on many web and twitter sites.

But the meeting with McGurk is part of a reconciliation process. Those sheikhs and their tribes lived where Daesh had taken over control and the Syrian regime had fled. So they ‘went along to get along’. They will do the same when the Syrian regime returns to Raqqa. And they are currently doing it with the SDF. Reminds me of the many small-town mayors in Europe in 44/45 keeping a number of flags handy from both the Allies and the Axis; ready to wave either depending on who was the latest occupier of their town.

Nothing wrong with reconciliation. Assad has done it also. After liberating East Aleppo, not all rebel fighters were bussed to Idlib. According to the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation 3000 of the 6000 militants from east Aleppo were given amnesty. And today there are reports that approximately 100 of the 300 Daesh fighters from the stranded bus convoy have been granted reconciliation status by the Syrian regime. I thought it was fake news when it was posted on various twitter accounts, but now it has been reported by the Shiite news agency ABDA based in Iran. It may still be untrue and just an attempt at propaganda, but it still shows an attempt to encourage defections. Reconciliation in my mind is a good strategy and a force multiplier. Good for Assad, good for the SDF, and it was good for the many other examples in history.

http://en.abna24.com/news/middle-east/113-isis-members-join-syrian-forces_852487.html

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201706141054627382-russia-military-reconciliation-center/

blowback

The Syrian government has already shown that it can deal with what some suggested were warlords on its side by disbanding the Desert Hawks and spreading the fighters throughout the SAA, which leaves only the Tiger Force as a possible private army for a warlord but since it's a unit of the SAA, that's unlikely.
No, its the mercenary Islamist/jihadist/tribalist wing of the SDF which is likely to throw up a few warlords and who is funding, training and arming that wing at the moment - the United States probably with some help from the Gulfies. Trump has said in the past that he wants to eradicate ISIS and then sees no reason to remain in Syria but there are certain elements in the Washington Borg that have objectives that involve fracturing Syria and who better to do that than warlords in debt to the United States. As I said the R+6 are perfectly capable of dealing with any warlords in Syria unless the United States continues to protect them. It's just like the situation on the Arabian Peninsular, without the Americans being around to protect them the despots who run those states would be allowed to get away with only a fraction of what they do get away with. Remember how many of the 9/11 team were Saudis.
If any warlords are created in Syria it will have everything to do with the United States in the form of parts of the Washington Borg.

blowback

Yet more cultural appropriation. It's not reconciliation as the rest of the world understands it, because if it was it would be with the SAG with the United States acting as intermediaries for the SAG just as the Russians have done. Somehow I don't see it that way. Instead this is just the Borg recruiting some "moderate" mercenaries. Admit it Mike, reconciliation is not the Washington Borg way unless it's "reconciliation" as it wanted to do with the 300 ISIS fighters on that day trip to Deir Ez-zor.

mike

Blowback -

Reconciliation works. No matter who initiates it.

The US has used it before, often. But I suspect that they were brought in on this particular effort at reconciliation after it had already been negotiated by the Arabs in the SDF. That is OK too in my mind. Don't dismiss good ideas with a "not-invented-here-syndrom".

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

June 2020

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
28 29 30        
Blog powered by Typepad