Militants Flee From Defense Lines As Govt Forces Advance In Northwestern Damascus

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On December 28, the Syrian army and Hezbollah, backed up by the Syrian Air Force, continued to storm Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham defense lines in the Wadi Barda region northwest of Damascus.

Government forces attacked militant positions at the villages of Souq Wadi Barada, Kafr al-Awamid, al-Husyaniyah and Baseema and made a series of flanking raids against militant group supply lines in these areas.

As result of these attacks, the Syrian army and Hezbollah were able to enter Baseema and seize a number of buildings there. According to local sources, a part of the militants holding a defense line there just fled to Dayr Qanoon and Kafr Az Zayt, where no clashes were reported.

Pro-government sources argue that about 20 militants were killed in the operation. Nonetheless, this number cannot be confirmed independently.

Militants Flee From Defense Lines As Govt Forces Advance In Northwestern Damascus

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  • Spunkyhunk

    Good. These “pockets” around Damascus and close to the Lebanese border should have been cleaned up a long time ago.

    • VGA

      When should they have been cleaned up? 14 months ago the SAA could not stop the rebel advance in Latakia and their core territories were in danger, that’s why Russia had to intervene. Damascus was full of pockets of resistance, they were barely holding on to a part of Aleppo, in danger of being surrounded there. The Kuweiris base was close to falling, Deir Ezzor was already surrounded, ISIS was controlling most of the oil operations and transporting it with thousands of trucks …

      Yeah I wonder why they didn’t deal with these backwater areas then, hmmm.

      • PZIVJ1943

        Hope to here more news of SAA pushing on E Gouta pocket. It may take some time, but taking it would free up a large force. Lets move in the green buses, and move all the surviving Jihadist to Idlib. Palistine camp pocket should fall first.

      • Spunkyhunk

        This IS part of the “core territory”. You clear/pacify the areas in and around your capital and nerve center FIRST – if you can’t do that, then you’re pretty much a joke; which is how the Syrian government has been treated by the whole world for the past few years, ever since they lost control of all these districts inside and around their own capital city! Even a cursory look at the warmaps shows you that these “pockets” around the Damascus area and between Damascus and friendly Hezballah-controlled Lebanon, are like huge, embarrassing inkblots smack in the middle of what is supposed to be the core “good” territory – tying up large numbers of troops to surround and “contain”; sucking up all kinds of resources; making life unsafe and dangerous even in your capital city; ensuring that even your “core” territory is not uncontestedly yours. These “pockets” should have been eliminated, DOING WHATEVER IT TOOK, years ago. At the very least, since the beginning of the Russian intervention, elimination of these (along with saving Latakia and the seacoast) should have been the first order of business. That was a LOT more important than stupid emotional showboat-type stuff, such as wasting all that time, manpower and resources on retaking and trying to hold Palmyra along a narrow indefensible salient for PR/cosmetic reasons; trying to rush off to Raqqa prematurely (and getting beaten back humiliatingly); rushing here-to-there-and-to-the-other-place like a bunch of headless chickens along crazy stretched-out frontlines, etc.

        • VGA

          No, those hilly areas are not their core territory. And just because you see some differently colored spots on a map and it annoys you, it doesn’t mean they are high priority.

          High priority are big cities, towns that control big highways, military bases, former urban centers and economic hubs, industrial areas …

          What’s next, you will tell us how eastern ghouta should have been taken years ago?

          • Spunkyhunk

            “No, those hilly areas are not their core territory…it doesn’t mean they are high priority…. High priority are big cities,…etc. etc.”

            Have you ever heard of something called “geographical contiguousness”, genius?

            This isn’t about “being annoyed” by spots on a map. You cannot allow huge enclaves with thousands of heavily-armed enemy fighters to remain in the middle of your “core territory”. It doesn’t matter if they are uninhabited hilltops, or whatever (and in this case, most of them are NOT even that, but rather settlements and parts of towns, anyway!). You just CAN’T. If you do, then your “core territory” itself is not safe; and you have to devote an inordinate amount of manpower, resources and attention just to protect the parts of the “core territory” which you DO control, against the constant danger of breakout from the enemy enclaves in its midst. Which is EXACTLY what has been happening in Syria for the past few years, genius, if you hadn’t noticed. Imagine if ALL of these “pockets” around Damascus/Southern Syria had been ruthlessly eliminated 3-4 years ago, as they should’ve been; and those tens of thousands of Syrian soldiers tied down surrounding and “containing” them and skirmishing along their edges all this time, had been able to have been used at the other fronts – I think the general situation in the country would be looking very different right now!

            “What’s next, you will tell us how eastern ghouta should have been taken years ago?”

            You took the words out of my mouth! It seems you might be showing some glimmerings of intelligence finally.

          • VGA

            In *most* of those pockets you are seeing there is almost no fighting. Sometimes there is a ceasefire, other times there is an “understanding” that if the rebels cause problems then they will be bombed and maybe attacked. Some of them signed the reconsiliation agreement this past year and the area is SAA-controlled. You think it would be better to relentlessly attack those pockets I am talking about even though there was no immediate danger? Just to make your logistics better?

            The containing and the skirmishing was only in some of the pockets. Also, just because you see a green color on the map doesn’t mean that the SAA have invested *front line* troops to defend around that area. Some of those NDF or local pro-gov paramilitaries or police forces would not be useful on any major front, just liabilities.

          • Spunkyhunk

            “In *most* of those pockets you are seeing there is almost no fighting.”

            Not true… For years now we have been constantly reading news of jihadis making breakout attempts from pockets, probing government defenses, seizing this or that building block/village/hill, etc. Also, there is virtually always a certain (even if relatively low) level of hostilities going on (firefights, artillery and rocket barrages, terrorist attacks, help being sent to other locales where jihadis are actively engaging government soldiers, etc., etc., etc.). The places where “there is almost no fighting” are those where the encircling siege is strong and tight and the jihadis are physically unable to make serious attempts at advances – i.e., where a lot of effort is being invested for “containment” and “freezing” of the skirmish lines.

            “Some of them signed the reconsiliation agreement this past year and the area is SAA-controlled”

            This is a contradiction in terms. If an area is “SAA-controlled”, then by definition it is not a “pocket”. If it is still being shown as a “pocket”, then it means the national army cannot enter and the government’s authority is not recognized there; and the “reconciliation agreement” is insincere and more like a temporary truce than a genuine “reconciliation”.

            “You think it would be better to relentlessly attack those pockets I am talking about even though there was no immediate danger? Just to make your logistics better?”

            Of course! You need to secure your core territory and your rear first, before committing the majority of your forces to risky battles on other fronts hundreds of miles away. (Also, “no immediate danger” is a misleading red herring term here – as per what I said about heavily-armed hostile enclaves in the midst of your core territory).