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Govt Forces Advancing in Khan al-Shih Pocket in Western Ghouta

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The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces have made a rapid push in the Western Ghouta region of Rif Damascus province, attacking Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian al-Qaeda branch) and its allies in the Khan al-Shih pocket.

According to pro-government sources, government forces successfully seized a number of building blocks and reached the so-called “Palaces Area” of Khan al-Shih. If the army and the NDF are able to push a bit further and secure the previous gains, they will be able to tighten the Khan al-Shih pocket further and to set a foothold for the full-liberation of this important militant-controlled town in Western Ghouta.

Govt Forces Advancing in Khan al-Shih Pocket in Western Ghouta

Click to see the full-size map

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Goddamn the SAA moves slowly on besieged areas! First East and now Western Ghouta, who’s in charge of these areas, Liwa Al Turtles?

Jasminko Grdic

what do you mean slowly… Now when it comes to area where are houses then you need to do it house by house. if not you can lose 10-20 mann in one strike.


You say that as if they’re in the city, when they’ve been battle for square metres of general land for months!

John Whitehot

no need to recklessly advance into pockets. They already divided the main one in two portions, they could stay like this for months.


Agree. The siege and battle of Aachen in 1944 is a great example of how to reduce a pocket of resistance, without sustaining too many causalities on the part of the besiegers.


The 6.2 km line is longer than the 7.1 km one……. very useful map.

Marek Pejović

haha true, you’re right Admiral General!

Marek Pejović

well, although it seems wierd and show of weakness, there actually might be a couple of reasons to drag on the siege. firstly, there is the wish to minimize civilian and soldier casualties. as it now is, civilian (if there are any) and SAA casualties are probably 0/day in West Ghouta. what’s also important is that there is no damage to buildings. and all the while, terrorist’s food is getting short. medicines too. so, maybe the reason is that they’re waiting for so long is that they are waiting for terrorists to get weaker and/or starve. after all, pockets really start looking like proper sieges lately. so if they starve or are too weak to mount serious resistance, there is less casualties and also there wouldn’t be a need so blast half a city away with tanks, artillery and rockets. one less to rebuild and residents can move in immediately after demining. win-win, and it takes just some time.


I wonder how many soldiers they can move to other fronts when they take this 2 pockets. 15 km border at pocket 1 and 25 km at pocket 2. I think much troops are needed to have no gaps in defends.

John Whitehot

there are also considerations on the types and quality of the involved personnel. Keeping the pockets at their current size involves a certain quantity of units with mostly defensive equipment, while waltzing into them requires armored units, air support, more artillery and troops trained for this mission. I also believe that the “frontlines” in some areas in Syria are not impenetrable walls, especially for the ragheads trying to exit – there are signs pointing at a willingness on the government part to let militants relocate to certain provinces without fighting. The way I see it, the positives in this conduit outweigh the negatives.

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