ISIS Actions In Southern Raqqah Pose Threat To Government Advance Along Palmyra-Deir Ezzor HIghway (Maps)

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ISIS Actions In Southern Raqqah Pose Threat To Government Advance Along Palmyra-Deir Ezzor HIghway (Maps)

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The ISIS activity in southern Raqqah poses a threat to government forces advancing in the direction of Deir Ezzor in central Syria.

ISIS terrorists have seized the villages of Ghanim al-Ali, Shuraydah, Jabali and Zawr Shammar after almost a week of heavy fighting.

If ISIS successfully develops momentum along the road to the al-Birshri triangle, the terrorist group will threat the southern flank of government troops in the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor highway area.

ISIS Actions In Southern Raqqah Pose Threat To Government Advance Along Palmyra-Deir Ezzor HIghway (Maps)

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  • Kell

    Where are the Tigers atm?

    • Jasminko Grdic

      There, at Birshri

    • Wahid Algiers

      I have heard in the outskirts north of Soukhna….

      • Kell

        Not far away then, could be letting IS extend into a trap.

    • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

      The Tigers are operating on various fronts as the other elite units as they are being teamed together as ISIS is trying everything to prevent that flank from being secured. The Hama-Homs pocket is being cleared many IS there are getting killed and may not last much longer so far many are foreigners and not so many locals as touted by AMN source.

  • Greywolf

    They could start a new offensive along side Iraqi border … Drive Isis attention there

    • Wahid Algiers

      ISIS won’ t devide their units for now.

    • Joe Doe

      SAA should continue advances along DZ highway and SOuth of the DZ highway the entire desert

      • dutchnational

        If they want to win as easy as possible, you are correct.

  • Joe Doe

    SAA Command screw up big time not to liberate Maadan and continue advances towards Deir Ezzor now paying huge price and SAA is on the run.

    SAA should withdraw what is left along the Raqqa -Deir Ezzor highway ( I think is N4) as no much is left to defend, stabilized defences along corrent front lines west of the river in Raqqa CS. This will allow ISIS fight SDF in direction to Raqqa and most likely ISIS will try send reinforcement to ISIS in Raqqa. This also will relieve pressure on SAA in this region and this will split fighting between SDF and ISIS and SAA and ISIS.

    Mean time, SAA should continue advances along DZ highway with at least 15 km or more buffer zone North of DZ highway. SAA also should the same time advance South of DZ highway, which is mostly desert and most likely NOT well defended by ISIS and approach Deir Ezzor from West and South, than close the packet up North of Deir Ezzor and clean the packet.

    • Wahid Algiers
      • Joe Doe

        Reinforcements is good, but moving troops from one pace to another too many times in not good either.

      • Kell

        Always value your contributions Wahid

    • Praba Karan

      what you said is correct..Instead of making multiple offensive fronts,SAA should concentrate DZ highway. All the best SAA.

    • dutchnational

      In theory you are completely correct. Practical problem for IS is that SDF controls the north bank of the river, bridges are destroyed and the southern quarters are liberated by SDF. Even reaching the banks south of Raqqah will be a problem as SDF controls the southern bank too.

      Tactically for IS it would not be smart to try to get some fighters into Raqqah if that means that there will be even more of their fighters trapped there, unless they can break the siege of the city, which is unlikely.

      In this specific case, by enveloping the SDF on the southbank, I think SAA has outsmarted itself.

      • Carol Binkley

        I wonder, too, if al-Baghdadi would attempt to dilute his forces, his strength, by sending reinforcments to Raqqa. I’ll check out the fighting in Raqqa.

      • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

        Hate to dispel your myth the Southern bank was liberated by the SAA which had allowed many civilians to escape as they secured the University access. The SDF(Manbij) allowed the SAA into the region as these were the Manbij fighters the Asayish hate and want to arrest and kill.

    • Attrition47

      Doing your Captain Mainwaring impression again? The US head-chopping, heart-eating rapers had had a modest success near the Euphrates but it has been expensive and the Syrians have hardly responded to the diversion. The US head-chopping, heart-eating rapers are the ones running out of time.

    • Jan Tjarks

      Ma’adan would have been a fight within the city, the battlefield Daesh prefers, as seen in Mosul and still in Raqqa, as air power has to be limited in order not to kill too many civilians. The SAA didn’t fall for this trap. Instead, it forced Daesh to attack in the area, as SAA otherwise could have pinned Daesh in Ma’adan against the river, creating a small pocket. With Ma’adan isolated, they could have been going on with this scheme until Deir Ezzor.

      In fact, SAA command outsmarted Daesh instead.

      The current threat is for Daesh, as they are depleting forces on the battlefield of SAAs choosing, in the open landscape. This allows to put air power to full effect, creating a very expensive battle for Daesh.

      Never underestimate the effect of air power, without it, SAA would still sit around Damascus instead.

      The time Deir Ezzor has been reached, Ma’adan is a pocket anyway, as there are no river crossings left. Daesh might retreat via the river anyway, but only at the cost of heavier equipment being lost.

      As such, you hindsight is more amusing as anything else. Average Joe at his best again. =)

  • Ronald

    Contractors , be they Russian or Iranian , would be timely at this moment , as well as some massive air power to clean up this Maadan distraction . The central push to Deir Ezzor must not be allowed to stop .

    • Wahid Algiers

      Reinforcements are underway. The victory over the Hama pocket will leave more and more fighters, equipment. https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/video-countless-syrian-army-tanks-vehicles-rushed-deir-ezzor-frontier/ But the SAA has to throw more than one eye on the Idlib front lines of western Alleppo, Latakia and Khannasir road.

      • Joe Doe

        Idlib and western Aleppo is another hot spot and is at the boiling point. SAA have not much time to cleat East of SYria, before Idlib and western Aleppo fighting starts

      • dutchnational

        Yes, and IS has reinforcements underway too, compliments of Assad and Hezbollah.

      • Red Tick Alert

        With you on that one.

    • Red Tick Alert

      I do agree with that, but I would put my first priority on cleaning up and finishing the job in the West – i.e. the green blobs on the map, at the same time giving the guys near DZ a couple of days to prepare for the final assault whilst the Russian and Syrian airforce bombards DZ and demotivates them and dropping their numbers.

  • gustavo

    What is Russia waiting to make a massive air strike to terrorists ? Russia can do it with a very high precision, and with kalibr missiles and night vision helicopters. As Ronald just said, Syria army must keep going until to reach Deir Ezzor ( non stop movement).

    • Wahid Algiers

      Absolutely right. The russians now have to hit ISIS in the Ma’ adan region and northeast of Soukhna. Hard and precise. The push from the north to DE city/airport is needed to inflict as many casualties as possible when the front lines squezzed ISIS.

  • gold37

    Can’t wait to see the solders in DeZ city on other fronts, such as Idlib once there is a buffer zone in DeZ state.

    • Jan Tjarks

      Currently Idlib is a minor concern, as the remaining pocket in the west is secured, some forces are left to address possible Al-Qaeda (HTS) advances. More important is the far east of Syria beyond Deir Ezzor, this is where they will be needed. The last target would be Al-Bukhama then, before Idlib can be adressed in force. HTS knows that, we will see how they will try to address this situation. The current takeovers in Idlib are a clear indicator of preparations.

  • Freedom

    Meanwhile the IS is concentrated in fighting against a wall, in the Euphrates, the Syrian Army is creating a new huge pocket. The Syrian general in charge of the operations knows very well what is doing.

  • Lupus
  • dutchnational

    Tactically the securing of flanks remains somewhat of a problem for SAA planners. We have discussed this several times over the last year.

    On the other hand, one must acknowledge that there is a certain urgency in ending the siege of DeZ.

    Too much urgency remains risky though.

  • SOF

    SAA is probably letting Daesh have its temporary victory, while they settle the Uqayribat situation first, then when finished they will send the forces to Ghanim to encircle and destroy them.

  • Jesus

    ISIS currently has some control along the Euphrates river north of Madaan, Tiger forces have taken Bishri elevation and are securing the triangle and will be moving east, towards the ISIS forces around Madaan trapping them in a pocket. Their southern flank is secured by the 5th corps
    moving on yeh Sukhna – Deir Ezzor axis.

    • RichardD

      According to some reports the advance from central Syria is only 20 or 25 miles from DE. With only 2 isolated small cities ahead of them on the road. There are probably advance elements of the Syrian government coalition on the ground going around those cities at this time and approaching the outskirts of DE. With air strikes taking out enemy positions in and around those cities on a regular basis. I’m guessing that the road between those cities and to DE is now a no go zone for enemy equipment and personnel.

      • Jesus

        That could very well be true, smaller units moving ahead of the main units, like skirmishers in the old days, hard to detect and possibly cleaning any ISIS nests they encounter, calling air strikes and surveilling the area.
        I do not see what the big deal is to take a dozen tanks and about 20 technicals, supported by 2-4 gunships to adavnace on the road, or around the road close to the proximity of the city; 60 kms can be covered in a few hours and catch ISIS pockets by surprise. Close to the city they would immediately threaten ISIS units surrounding the city, calling air strikes and and using heavy weapons.

        • RichardD

          There are enemy heavy weapons in built up areas that haven’t been taken out yet because of the collateral damage risk or they’re hidden. So once you get within their range, you may need ground forces to locate and take them out to insure that the convoy doesn’t get hit from a distance.

          But there’s a relatively safe area outside their radius where the built up areas can be bypassed and contained. If the terrain is passable to a military convoy. And in that area of Syria a lot of it is, or can be made passable with earth moving equipment. And if the enemy comes out into the open area to try to stop it, then they’re visible and vulnerable to detection and destruction.

          There may be some heavier government off road convoys out in front of the front lines that have traveled through the desert and are attacking or preparing to attack the cities on the highway and the DE siege itself. That are out of enemy weapons range, but much closer to DE than what the maps show.

          • Jesus

            Tanks are immune to fire from technicals, they could advance in areas most unexpected bypassing the heavy weapons, even if facing heavy weapons, calling air strikes would neutralize them. The terrain is relatively flat and ISIS groupings in men and weapons are sitting ducks to air attacks.

          • RichardD

            With a convoy you have to worry about artillery and multiple rocket launchers. Not everybody is in a tank. But outside of the built up areas that can be neutralized easily from the air

          • Jesus

            The heavy armor would identify enemy counterparts and engage them directly or call for air strikes. From the pictures you posted visibility looks good, MILRS and artilery would be hard to camouflage, convoys can be escorted by gunships, on the open terrain they can move at least 20-30kms a day.

          • RichardD

            I agree, and they may be doing that and not publicizing it at this time for security reasons.

          • PZIVJ

            But the armor needs to be protected from ATGM and SVIEDS. Combined arms and a steady advance is the best approach. Movement of tanks in the desert is easy to spot due to large dust plums and they are quite noisy. And the number of gunships is very limited. ISIS also likes to counter attack at night and with fast mobility.

          • RichardD

            The regime change elements can be detected and interdicted day or night in the open desert during any type of built up area bypass operation long before they reach government coalition forces. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri_ZIiJiebA

          • Jesus

            5th corps have T72B3 tanks which are equipped with APS, ATGM in the open desert can be spotted easier, VBIEDS are useless in the open desert. Tanks can be used offensively to penetrate enemy defenses, destroy heavy weapons and wreck havoc behind enemy lines.
            For combined arms they can have some mounted infantry on BMPs equipped with good firepower that can hold specific areas.
            Typical blitzkrieg approach is for tank forces to probe and find weak enemy defenses, penetrate them and exploit the situation until you have encircled the enemy, then the main army advances and closes the noose. The Syrians are learning such tactics, in their heyday during the 1973 war, all they could do deploy of hundreds of tanks on a narrow front in Golan heights.

          • Jesus

            Combined arms in urban areas, in the desert static defenses are dead meat against tanks

        • RichardD
        • RichardD
          • Jesus

            Unprotected artistry normally provides indirect fire from behind lines, self propelled guns with some armor can be in the second or third echelon of advancing troops.

          • RichardD

            They may be getting it in place, along with other heavy weapons ahead of time out of range, in anticipation of enemy troop movements once the battle for DE begins. Kobajjep is probably already being attacked by government coalition forces at this time from both the air and forward ground elements. Once Ash Sholah down the road falls, it’s a straight shot to DE with little built up area in between. There will be a lot less resistance reaching DE that way then dealing with all of the built up area along the river coming down from Maadan.

  • RichardD