Government Troops To Continue Advance In al-Tanaf Area Despite US-led Coalition Airstrikes – Reports

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Government Troops To Continue Advance In al-Tanaf Area Despite US-led Coalition Airstrikes - Reports

Pro-government fighters are in the eastern Suweida counryside. Source: https://twitter.com/MmaGreen

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies are going to continue their advance in the al-Tanaf area in southern Syria despite a threat of US-led coalition airstrikes, according to a number of local sources and pro-government media activists.

Government troops continued to puttion pressure on western-backed militants west of al-Tanaf and southeast of it (from the direction of Suweida).

Yesterday, the SAA and its allies reached Al-Shuhaimi in about 50 km from the border town of al-Tanaf but faced a resistance from the Jaysh al-Thuwar militant group, supported by the US-led coalition air power. As a result of airstrikes and clashes, government forces lost some 4 battle tanks, a Shilka self-propelled gun, few technical vehicles armed with machine guns, a troop transport vehicle and up to 20 fighters. However, this cannot be confirmed by videos or photos.

According to some sources, the government advance on al-Tanaf is actively backed by Iran that seeks to establish a direct connection between pro-Iranian militias in Syria and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units also supported by Iran. Right now, it is not clear if the operation is coordinated with Russia. Only further Moscow’s actions over the situation could answer to this question.

Government Troops To Continue Advance In al-Tanaf Area Despite US-led Coalition Airstrikes - Reports

Liwa al_Quds fighters in the province of Homs. Source: https://twitter.com/MmaGreen

Meanwhile, Liwa al-Quds reinforcements have arrived to support government forces advancing against ISIS terrorists in the countryside of Palmyra. According to reports, Liwa al-Quds fighters will be involved in the expected government advance on Deir Ezzor aimed at lifting the ISIS siege from this strategic city.

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  • Ronald

    From an emotional point of view , I agree with the advance on al Tanaf , it is Syrian territory , neither the FSA or the US has any legitimate claim . Training in the area , does not entitle claim .

    However this emotional reaction , runs counter to the strategic advantage of focusing on reestablishing the airport at Deir Ezzor . With that airport retaken and put to use , all of eastern Syria might be reclaimed from ISIS , or the “new ISIS” the FSA .

    • Jasminko Grdic

      The US coalition together with FSA want control of East Syria and the Oil and Gas Fields. Through this part it can be build the Qatar Gas pipeline and be export to Friend Turkey in Nord.

    • Dustil schmit

      US might put up air defense systems in the area to protect them so it’s not worth taking the easy route. Just advance to Deir ezzor from palyma like Russia planned.

    • dutchnational

      All of Syria south of the Euphrates?

    • Bob

      Agree Dier Ezzore is key to central east, but Al Tanf is readily achievable goal. It also has big strategic implications as at Al Tanf SAA would essentially meet up with Iraqi PMU at the intersection of Syrian-Jordanian- Iraqi borders. That would effectively divide the US/Jordanian based militant proxies inside Syria into two pockets, one on Syrian-Jordanian border and other on Syrian-Iraqi border. This would also cut off the latter from Jordanian based ground resupply and limit their further US aided advances directed into ISIS controlled territory toward central-east Syria. It is good SAA strategy to reduce US/ Jordanian threat – and fact that US/ Jordanians bombed SAA indicates it caught US/ Jordanians off guard – and they needed to slow these developments down – perhaps to get their special forces and key militants into a safer position – ie, not cut off against Syrian-Iraqi border.

    • Adam Kafei

      I would argue that this move is perfectly sound as it isn’t drawing any of the forces already deployed to Palmyra in preparation for the Deir Ezzor offensive. If this move is successful it will not only link Syrian government controlled areas with Iraq, thereby facilitating cross-border trade and improving the Syrian economy allowing for money for the military but it also cuts off the US-FSA ground supply lines from Jordan.

      It is also worth noting that for the US-FSA grouping here, Deir Ezzor is simply an added bonus, the primary objective is to prevent the meeting of Syrian and Iraqi government forces. Likely due to the Iraqi side last year expressing a willingness, if not a desire to assist Syria in combating ISIS, an offer that may extend to fighting America’s other proxies in Syria.

      Another benefit of this operation is that when it is complete there will be a large offensive capable group to move north and take control of the Al-Busairi crossroad and it’s hills to open a road to the Tiyas crossroad from the south and then to push up the other road to Palmyra where they could join the Deir Ezzor offensive or they could be moved then to Khanasser or Ithriya to support the Tiger forces and the desert hawks in the Maskanah plains.

      • Bill Wilson

        This move is stupid and a prime example of why the SAA takes forever to get anything done. The majority of the SAA is comprised of local militias that are supported by local strongmen. These strongmen are leery of sending their troops into direct battle since the loss of men and equipment will make them weaker. They’ll advance so far then stop, claiming fierce resistance prevents them from going further. Then Assad has to send in the Tiger Forces or Desert Hawks to clear out the resistance so those chicken shits can advance. This batch was sent in to attack the ISIS pocket SW of Palmyra from the south, where they could take the Al-Busairi crossroad and move east to reclaim the phosphate mines. The NFSA pulled back as they advanced to the al-Tanaf highway where the militias stopped their advance instead of swing north along the road. Instead they decided it would be safer to advance south towards al-Tanaf, figuring they wouldn’t be attacked by coalition forces plus would look badass in Syrians eyes for taking on US proxies.

        • Adam Kafei

          If they were sent to attack the ISIS pocket south of Palmyra then they were too far south, this whole area has been under the control of the US and proxies long before this advance.

          As to why the SAA can’t get anything done, it’s not an issue in the lower levels of the command structure, it’s at the top. When the Russians intervened they took over command of the government aligned forces and they were going from success to success, when they handed command back to the SAA high command that’s when we started seeing this indecisiveness again. I’d suggest the top levels of the SAA has more decision makers than strategists which is the primary problem I’d say the SAA has.

          • Bill Wilson

            I’m sure the Assad regime has a basic strategy for each region yet has a difficult time implementing those due to the leaders of their militia allies being reluctant to leave their safe defensive positions (HTS had the same problem in their Northern Hama Salient when they issued a call for reinforcements). A good example is the ISIS pocket SW of Palmyra that contains the phosphate mines and major highway crossroad. ISIS shouldn’t have many fighters left there other than rearguard units to delay SAA advances yet the SAA stopped short of the mines in the east and made no attempt to move south to take the crossroads. I’m sure that Assad wanted those mines back ASAP since Syria’s exports of crushed phosphate rock brought in well over a billion dollars in revenue and could get it back on the market fast since the mines are served by a rail line that runs to Palmyra then west to the coast. Those militia units still sat idle after regular SAA units ran out ISIS to the north, west of Palmyra. I figured that they would start advancing again once this wayward batch started coming in from the SW yet none moved and this bunch went where they pleased.

          • Thegr8rambino

            Yea i was wondering what happened with those mines. Maybe the deir ezzor advance and securing the iraqi-jordanian border is more important so thats on hold for now is my best guess

    • Real Anti-Racist Action

      #1 ISIS is at its end as an entity. However, the future war of six months from now is already planned, and that is Israel Jordan UK and US troops occupying southern Syrian which is right next to Damascus.
      #2 Had Syria acted sooner years ago for the coming war with ISIS, they would have been in a better position to contend with them.
      It is obvious Syria is now trying to avoid making this same mistake against a larger and more powerful foe, the Zionist-coalition.
      #3 Syria now has separate entities to contend their southern border, most of this is not really the Syrian army por say, it is Iraqi-Hezbollah and many other militias, many formed trained and funded by Iran. Less then 10% of the Syrian military will be involved in this southern push, it is mostly varing militias all working together for the common goal of preventing an Iraqi-style invasion as the Zionist did to Iraq years ago.
      This is not really going to drain resources from Damascus, this is receiving resources from Iran and Iraq and Russia and other militias.
      This operation is a win win for Syria. They will either score a minor win to the south, or a major win. Either one is needed to prevent the Jordanian/Zionist alliance from illegally occupying a chunk of Syria for years till they come up with an excuse to take Damascus and give it to Israel.

  • Stephen

    USA or FSA or NSA have no right to establish terrorists headquarter on Syrian land. USA led Co. are intruders/murderers and butchers.

  • dutchnational

    The Jaysh al Thuwar mentioned in this report, is that the same organisation as the Jaysh al Thuwar that is part of the SDF in Afrin and Tel Rifaat? Two branches? If so, what is the role, if any, of the SDF here?

    I am confused here.

  • gold37

    Liwa al-Quds is well needed in the DeZ offensive, seeing that the Eastern Aleppo front is stagnant. By opening the Palmyra-Salamiya or Palmyra-Ithriya, it will make it easier to head back to Aleppo. Will save fuel and travel time! Finally, SAA has initiative!