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18 October 2017


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Something which might have cheered him up:

"Russian troops take control of key gas field from Kurdish forces in Deir Ezzor"


This could be part of a wider Russian/US agreement east of the Euphrates.



It didn't sound that way from what Huckabee-Sanders said at the WH yesterday. She said the Syrian Government forces were in the way of the SDF liberating the country. I wonder if these people believe their own BS. pl


johnf -

Conoco gas field to my knowledge was being inspected by members of the 'Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria' from Khmeimim Air Base. The gas fields as of this morning were not (yet) under control of Russian troops.

This was supposedly negotiated in Qamishlo. There was a meeting there between SDF leadership with Deputy Russian PM Bogdanov and a Syrian, former head of the Mukhbarat Ali Memluk.


Actually I suspect the SDF/YPG saw what happened in Kirkuk and did a deal to build up brownie points with the R+6. Is that almost forgotten R+6/SDF co-ordination "office" somewhere out in the desert at work again?

Pacifica Advocate

With tears in my eyes, I ask--reluctantly:

What is the difference between "mines," and "IEDs"?

From my perspective--as an admitted outsider--I don't know.



There is no real difference. IED is a US military acronym hat implies that a particular mine is homemade. pl


The SAA Deir-Ezzor Euphrates River Battle: a Tactical Review
Author: Jim Dean
The pontoon bridge effort was too little and too late
We watched in slow motion horror as the pontoon bridges were brought up, but then not quickly put to use. And when they were, the transportation capacity was not enough to supply a sustained advance. Syrian troops got over the river, only to get bogged down fighting ISIS, and then having to watch on their drone TV screens the SDF grabbing all the oilfields, with the Kurdish command stating that it had no intention of ever giving them up with big brother USA backing them up.

Week after week went by with the tough ISIS holdouts buying their comrades down river enough time to plan a major multi-pronged attack on the Palmyra highway, one that came close to recapturing Sukhnah.

A major diversion attack was made in Hama province to draw critically needed forces away from the Deir Ezzor front, which was followed by the supply line attacks. Those were dealt with, and the SAA rebounded with its own surprise move by attacking southward down the Euphrates to Al-Mayadin.

The attack did not slug its way south along the main road, but swung out into the desert down to the outskirts of Mayadin, the home of a major two-lane bridge. Reports indicated that the ISIS supply-line attacks on the Palmyra road has used up much of its defensive power to where ISIS might not be able to mount a siege defense, and the SAA could finally have a big bridge.

SAA’s Mayadin attack finds the big hole in ISIS defenses

The SAA took Mayadin more quickly than expected, with an envelopment attack to stretch out ISIS defenses. We learned that ISIS only had enough manpower for one line of defense, and when that was broken, the jihadis fled, leaving house weapons and ammo dumps intact, but with both spans of the two-lane bridge blown. Syrian troops U-turned and quickly cleared all of the western Euphrates back to Deir-Ezzor.

The big question now is can the SAA capture an intact bridge to get armored forces over the river to drive the SDF out of the area, clear ISIS, and secure as much of the Iraqi border as possible, which is very important for both Syria’s and Iraq’s future security. There is a bridge a bit further south at Al-Asharah. But every mile the SAA advances, the longer it takes to get supplies to its troops.


I looked at maps of the area, and do not see a bridge at Al-Asharah



PA -

SDF in Raqqa when trying to restart a water treatment plant first had to clear 230 IEDs in and around the plant. They said it was the Daesh preferred method of fighting in Raqqa. Most IEDS throughout the city were covered by Daeshi sniper fire. Mosul is still being cleared of IEDs.

It will take years to find every explosive device planted by Daesh and al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq. They keep no records of locations where they were planted. The United Nations UNMAS organization has mine clearing operations going on currently in 18 different countries. Much of it still going on 40 to 50 years after those mines were planted.


an I.E.D. is an improvised explosive device - a self made thing to damage, kill vor wound someone with an explosion. The improvised aspect makes them variable and hard to spot or demine.

A mine is a serial produced explosive trap that serves the same basic idea - to damage, kill vor wound.

I.e. be it an I.E.D. or a mine - neither is a thing anyone in mind ever wants to encounter.


You'll never, ever see a current American or Israeli general die in action!


Outhere, interesting but apart the usual smearing about SAA :
1- Al-Mayadin bridge was destroyed by coalition, not ISIS.
2 - Thinking that the pontoon bridge in DeZ was to allow the 5 corps or TF to reach the oil fields is pure speculation.
3 - The author should have envisioned one other explanation, the pontoon bridge was set up only to allow armored vehicle and logistical vehicle to take part in the encirclment of DeZ COA.
4 - Al-Mayadin bridge has minor damage at each side that can be repaired using metallic span in less than 4 hours. So SAA has the bridge needed.
5 - It's impossible to move such a big unit as TF from Hama to Palmyra-DeZ road, so quickly, in less tha a day. ( I have worked on logistical issues 5 years ).
Conclusion,only a small part of TF was sent to Hama.
Thus this tactical review is false.
6 - I go on saying that SAA has good knowledge of SDF capabilities and that SAA does not consider SDF as a force able to oppose R+6.

Sans Racines

Just caught this and knew you'd have written, TTG. May He rest in peace, great soul. We will never forget.


Aleksandar -

All your points are correct IMO. But the author smeared the YPG also, not just the SAA. No senior Kurdish commander stated that it had no intention of ever giving up the oilfields. Some nameless braggarts on twitter said things like that, but they are probably teenagers sitting in Mom's basement somewhere in the Kurdish diaspora, Stockholm maybe or Nashville.

Re your #6: Absolutely! It is fairly common knowledge that the SDF and YPG do not have heavy weapons. No armor except what they took from Daesh and a few lightly armored cars from the coalition. A few AT weapons and probably mortars. Other than that it they are basically an AK-47 force wearing sneakers. There may be a few exceptions but not many.


A true giant among men...
I was shocked to the core when I heard the news
I actually thought he was invincible..

It's a terrible loss
I'm sure his men are badly shaken

I'm grateful to SST for posting this tribute


According to his religion, he will not rest in peace. Instead his soul has transmigrated to a new child.


Mishkilji -

Nothing wrong with that, it has been in many religions. Some of my Celtic and Scandinavian ancestors had the same beliefs.

And Assad's Alawites believe that also. Hafez died 17 years ago, wonder where his soul child is and what he is doing. He could have been born as a Christian due to Hafez's sins.


Pacifica Advocate

Just FYI:

That's what I was thinking. Thank you for the personal clarification.

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