Overview of Military Situation in Aleppo City on October 29-30, 2016

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Overview of Military Situation in Aleppo City on October 29-30, 2016

By yesterday evening (find the previous situation update here) , the joint militant forces – Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian al-Qaeda branch), Ahrar al-Sham, Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki and other militant groups – have captured a major part of the Al-Assad Neighborhood in the western part of Aleppo city. They also have entered the Minyan Neighborhood and pushed the Syrian army to retreat into the norwestern part of the 1070 Apartment Project.

Nonetheless, the militants were not able to develop the intitial success due to a lack of fire power. The total number of militant grouping involved into the operation is about 2,000 fighters with some 20 artillery pieces. Vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) remain their main tool to break the government forces’ defenses (find exclusive SF’s analysis how to counter VBIED attacks here).

Amid intense calshes, the Syrian military deployed reinforcements and the Syrian Army Tiger Forces’ Commander, Major General Suheil “The Tiger” Al Hassan, arrived the city to coordonate military operations against the joint terrorist forces. Hezbollah and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba were set to assist to Al Hassan-led operations.

Separately, Jabhat al-Nusra & its allies had made an attempt to cut off the Ittriyah-Aleppo Higway (the only government supply lin eto Aleppo city) but failed to do this.

Overview of Military Situation in Aleppo City on October 29-30, 2016

Click to see the full-size map

Last night, the Syrian army, the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Desert Hawks Brigade counter-attacked in Minyan and restored the control over the area. The Jabhat Fatah al-Sham-led coalition, also known as Jaish al-Fatah, withdrew into the al-Assad Neighborhood. This allowed the government forces to repell the militants’ attacks on the New Aleppo Neighborhood.

The Al-Salam Square, the New Aleppo Neighborhood is under the government control (the photo has been taken today):

Overview of Military Situation in Aleppo City on October 29-30, 2016

 

The government forces also made attempts to counter-attack in the Al-Assad Neighborhood and in the 1070 Apartment Project but they were not able to reverse the militants’ gains in the area.

The Free Syrian Army’s Liwa al-Huriya al-Islami commander, Mahmoud Ibrahim, was killed on October 28 during the failed attack on the Family House in western Aleppo:

Overview of Military Situation in Aleppo City on October 29-30, 2016

On October 30, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and its allies declared the end of the first phase of their operation in western Aleppo and confirmed that the al-Assad Neighborhood and a part of the 1070 Apartment Project were the only real gains.

The next phase, according to the statement, will include operation in the 3000 Apartment Project, Hamdaniyah, Saifdawla, Amiriya, the Old Aleppo, Suq Hal, al-Musharqah, al-Itha’a and Salah al-Din. De-facto, the militants started to shell the al-Assad Military Academy between the 3000 Apartment Project and the New Aleppo Neighborhood and detonated a VBIED in the 1070 Apartment Project. This confirms that the militant coalition will continue attempts to break the government forces in the area where the first attack took place on October 28.

There were also reports about a gas attack by militants near the Al-Assad Military Academy in western Aleppo. However, no photo or video evidence were provided.

Overview of Military Situation in Aleppo City on October 29-30, 2016

Military Academy

Jaish Al-Mujahideen (a coalition of islamist units loyal to Jabhat al-Nursa) is shelling the Military Academy area with ‘Elephant’ rockets:

Then, the Syrian army, Hezbollah and the NDF, supported by Syrian warplanes, made a new push to clear the al-Assad Neighborhood from militants. Clashes have been ongoing in the area.

The militants’ attempt to break the Aleppo siege can be described as failed. The government forces have an upper hand in the ongoing trench warfare in non-populated areas of western Aleppo due to the advantage in air power and artillery.

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  • me_

    what good is the Airpower in close face to face urban fighting? Russian planes are not bombing the front lines at all cause they can hit regime soldiers. So southfront yet again writes propaganda without thinking.

    • John Whitehot

      russian planes are not bombing Aleppo to prevent too many civilian casualties. By your logic, they would have bombed the ragheads artillery away from the “frontlines”, which they didn’t. Once again, ppl should wait before making ideas about situation on which they have not critical information. If and when we as the public know the truth, it will be much later.

    • grumpy_carpenter

      It’s true the common tactic in urban warfare is to hug your opponent so they can’t use artillery or air power without endangering friendly forces.

      In this case are the SAA forces actually going into the city and fighting hand to hand or are they sitting back and call in air strikes or artillery whenever they detect movement or identify an enemy position? I would suspect it’s the latter…..time is on the SAA’s side and they are also short of reserves.

      If this was a total war situation the Russians could use strategic air power and artillery to simply sterilize East Aleppo of life but that wouldn’t play well in the court of public opinion would it?

  • Aquartertoseven

    You can’t say that they’ve failed, don’t be so naive, this was a probing attack, to see how the government’s defenses are, and they’ve been shown to be pitiful. The militants have 12,000 involved in this battle and only 2000 were needed to capture entire districts of the city, that’s not good at all. Brace yourselves, because if their last offensive is any indication, the next phases are where the bulk of the forces/gains are going to present themselves.

    • Jesus

      Right, like the offensive they launched 2-3 months ago where they suffered thousands of casualties, and they had zero to show for. The jihadis can use numerical superiority to locally overwhelm an area, that is the extent of it. Then the Russian and Syrian air power will hammer them into oblivion and then it is back to square one.
      These strategic moves are reminiscent of WW1 tactics where lines of attack were static, except in this case, jihadis do not have air cover, the flow of supplies from Turkey is diminishing, and they are fighting a loosing war, going headlong into the meat grinder called Aleppo. If you remove the urban infrastructure from the battlefield, the jihadis would be dead meat everywhere.

      • Aquartertoseven

        Like in their Hama offensive? Not much urban infrastructure there and they had a massive advance.

        • Jesus

          What about the Hama offensive? They got out of the kill box in southwest Aleppo and moved south, massive advance does not translate into victory. As I said, the Jihadis can enjoy the numerical superiority at the initial stage, to be followed by the hard reality of heavy losses and eventual defeat.

    • grumpy_carpenter

      Generally in a fire fight the force that are on their feet and moving take the most casualties so in light of this…..

      The rebels are pocketed, they can’t go anywhere.

      The SAA have 2 choices:

      1. attack well defended rebel positions and take heavy causalities or

      2. let the rebels come out of their bunkers and try to break out and they take the casualties.

      I know what I would choose.

  • paul

    I think SF does an excellent job, giving the best information it can in a
    situation which is far from clear. No analysis is a prophecy but so
    far I think their assessment is holding true. The attack, though
    ferocious, has not broken encirclement of East Aleppo as SF
    predicted. Things may change- we will see.

    Soon a very powerful naval battle group will be off the Syrian shore. Now
    may be it will just sail up and down the Mediterranean in some
    display. On the other hand I would not like to be in its sights if it
    does intend business.

  • Percival

    My question. How are thousands of troops, artillery pieces, vehicles with large caliber machine guns, Grad rockets, and VBIEDs allowed to reach the contact line in these neighborhoods? The terrorists stage these attacks at a distance from Aleppo City. Russia has drones in the air and great surveillance of terrorist movements, their command centers and ammo dumps. Why in the hell are they not taken out when they are miles away from the city? How are they able to move men and materials into these neighborhoods?

    Taking out these rats out as they move towards the city wouldn’t even cause mass civilian casualties. I don’t get it. Russia could even give intelligence reports to the SAA and let them bomb the convoys headed towards the front lines. These terrorist groups publish their plans online and describe the locations of the offensives they are about to undertake! What in the hell is going on? I suppose Russia may be holding back until after the Adm. Kutsenov arrives or until the US election, but allowing these offensives to even occur boggles the mind. Take them out before they can even reach Syrian and allied forces. Seems pretty simple to me.

    • The Tooth

      Seems like russian close air support is built around hit and run and generally doesn’t have “staying power”, mi24 is not “the fastest helicopter” for no reason. Also they don’t have armed drones

      • Percival

        I mean surveillance drones. I believe they have these in play because when NATO claimed that the RAF had bombed a civilian facility in Idlib, the MOD said they had a drone in the air that showed no bomb craters or evidence of an airstrike on the building. I would say they HAVE to have surveillance systems to identify enemy troop buildups and movement.

        • The Tooth

          That’s a good question, one wonders why all those technicals and early cold war tanks aren’t shining very very red on those screens, especially considering the entire drama of the offensive of the last days happened in only a couple km radius, according to this at least american sensors are pretty good, I would assume russian aren’t far behind if at all

          http://www.gq.com/story/drone-uav-pilot-assassination

    • EL ZORRO

      I don’t want to believe that the Russian/Syrian are running out of ammunition. Something really wrong is happening in Aleppo, the Russian/Syrian should have eliminate those bastards by now.

    • XRGRSF

      Really, it’s tactics 101, and we’d think the terrs. wouldn’t keep falling for it, but they do. By allowing the offensives to occur the Russian/Syrian forces permit the terrorist to join together within a target area. In order to achieve the necessary attack to defense ratio the terrorists must coalesce at the forward edge of the battle area, and assault the government positions with what they hope to be overwhelming numbers at the point of attack Once the terrorists are massed, and committed to the attack, they are highly vulnerable to air, and artillery. If the terrorists over run the forward government units they are contained by a defense in depth, and destroyed by government supporting fires.

      For some reason this “roach motel” tactic always seems to work with these idiots. As the old commercial says, “They check in, but they don’t check out.”

      • Marek Pejović

        the only problem is that “checking out” percentage is still dismal…

      • Leon Auguste

        Makes a lot of sense

    • gfsdyughjgd .

      I fully agree with you how can terrorist move in large numbers and how do their manage to drive in pick up and tanks while there is drones and air support.Imagine just in a besiege city something is fishy maybe Russia is pleasing for USA to avoid being taken to Hague criminal court.

      • Marek Pejović

        like USA can actually MAKE Putin go to that farse in Hague. Putin is not some lordling in a worn-out half-collapsing little country like Milosevich was.

    • gravity

      They do not want to fight the real war in order they could win quicker, I think they want western countries to see their failure and poor plan.

    • goingbrokes

      The simple answer is that they are experts at smuggling and concealing their movements among “normal” civilian traffic, and in towns through buildings. They are helped in this by foreign intelligence services, US and israeli drones and British French special forces. The reason SAA is not more “aggressively” pursuing victory is because they want to live to see the VS day! And celebrate it with their families. Conceding small amount of territory temporarily is no large price. This forces the terrorists on the offensive which is always costly. The terrorists have also a large number of snipers which makes all attacks against them very hazardous.
      The attacking terrorist companies are always accompanied by men with faces covered and usually dressed in black, who disappear as soon as a point is taken. This suggests foreign SF operatives. Russians have brought in top snipers to deal with these gentlemen. I tend to think that the bombing of E-Aleppo has stopped because trapped there are some high value targets, possibly companies of foreign SFs and various spies, and SAA/Russia want to capture them alive if at all possible.

      • Percival

        Thanks for the info goingbrokes. The SF information seems very interesting. Capturing some Mossad goons in E. Aleppo would be quite the news! I understand they don’t want to undertake major offensives, but I just think they should up the airstrikes in SW Aleppo and Idlib to take the terrorists out before they get closer (I understand that you say they are able to mask their movements, though).

        The SAA/IRGC/Palestinian, Iraqi militias/Hezbollah have limited troops and must also fight on all the other fronts in Syria. With limited manpower, losing 50 or 100 troops is something you don’t want to sacrifice unless it helps win. I understand the strategy, but every soldier counts in this war and to allow them to keep driving in suicide trucks and taking out SAA personnel is costly. However, maybe it is more costly for the various Islamist terrorists which is why they are using this strategy.

        • goingbrokes

          No probs! The SAA strategy is to have a soft first line of defence because this is where the suicide bombs invariably detonate, and it is useless to try to take a stand against them. Of course taking the VBIED trucks out before they reach their target is the best, but it is much harder than many realise. These trucks have armour welded on just behind the front lines, there they are loaded with a few tons of explosive and only appear about 1km from the target. It is easy to calculate that you have about one minute to deal with it before detonation. (And in 30 secs it is too close to SAA for air attack.) RPGs do not stop them, and even an ATGM needs a good hit to stop them. Direct artillery would be good but since the jihadists know (from foreign intelligence) where all artillery emplacements are, they avoid them. Today the trucks have more than one driver, so if one is shot… you get the picture.
          The subsequent SAA lines of defence get harder as the assault wears down. So SAA saves their soldiers to fight another day because they want them all to survive. All won’t survive of course, but for them it is not just a numbers game. They care about the lives of their comrades, and they want to keep them fighting useful engagements. I assume they are forbidden to throw their lives away in futile assaults, or in heroics against suicide bombers.
          If you think about it economically, to use an ATGM (say $50,000) to blow up a VBIED, that is only going to explode anyways a few seconds later, it makes sense to save the ATGM against a tank, or a building full of jihadists!

          • Percival

            Elastic defense. The strategy that so appalled Hitler, and, in part. led to the decimation of the Heer on the Eastern Front.

          • goingbrokes

            Yep, that’s it!

  • Derapage

    I fear that soon the SAA will have to withdraw from Aleppo totally. FSA and other jihadist groups are receiving massive aid and support from Turkey. Apparently the Tiger Forces were not of great benefit here. These winks between Putin and Erdogan do not like at all…

  • gravity

    I think Russia and Syria are not doing well because something like should never happen at all. Syria and Russia had drones at air ,so they should see incoming terrorists who want to attack west Aleppo. They can ambush the terrorists before they reached their objectives. If they are strong ,they could be killed . It seemed Russia and do not want to win this war quicker. United States will capture Masoul before Russia and Syria capture Aleppo. Now it looks like they will never capture Aleppo, before Russia just won only one war ,war against Germany.

    • Daniel

      They did win proxi-wars though, Vietnam, Angola (kind of) etc..
      To understand where Russia is coming from I suggest you read “Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution” by Antony Sutton (it can be read for free online).

  • gfsdyughjgd .

    Russia should know that this terrorist have anti aircraft guns.USA chopper have also airdrop heavy weapons in Kirkuk Iraq their betraying Iraqi arm forces.Russia should order both civilians and terrorist to evacuate or face being killed if the government forces storm the Alepo. USA is scaring Russia to delay the cleansing of terrorist in Alepo.Because USA wants to armed Raqqa terrorist first.

  • gfsdyughjgd .

    I met three USA marines and this guys told us the bar that their beheading even children and rape young girls and put the blame on Taliban.Aparently their co-ordinate with Blackwater securities.

  • hvaiallverden

    The only way to make the rats move, is to give them room to move on, and or if bonked down they are not easy to bomb or smoke out, and urban warfare is more than air-plains, when the theater closes in geographical, capice, witch is translated to not waking your own, since the line fluctuates within hours, intelligence is basically hard to make it accurate anof to be sure an air-plain can be called in, and comes, because of the large kabooom.
    I wouldn’t be close, neither will they.
    I would go small. aka drones.

    And this is what I define as grinding them to dust, and so far its the Syrians whom have the upper hand, and so far I cant say anything, since its in the end of the rat packs we are witnessing.

    But the issue crosses with other ugh…… uber scums whom have so far made ONE thing certain, and thats NOTHING is certain.

    Two persons, Nazrallah and Assad, the ONLY to Men left in that region is an sea of cowards in real politics, in an desert of lies and forgery, backstabbers, turncoats, greedy bastards and ottomanial power trippers, to downright scams and theft of land, we have to desert flowers, The ONLY two whom speaks the truth.
    (yea, yea, yea, Putin to)
    And now we have an UN HRC lead by an Saudi.
    The insanity and evil is glaringly obvious.

    May he lord show mercy and understanding for those brave heroes whom died under this war, against the forces of evil.

    Walk with God.

    peace

  • Marek Pejović

    The screaming silence comes from lack of news from inside of Aleppo: where is the coordinated attack from within? where is the shelling? where are tunnel bombs? it seems awfully quiet on the inside. they either don’t have coordination with outside (highly unlikely) or they simply don’t have the means to do anything. either way, it’s telling.
    Secondly, 2000 fighters scrambled from perhaps a dozen liliputan terrorist movements is nothing compared to last time with 7000 fighters with the core of crack Al Nusra fighters breaking the siege.
    looking at this now, it seems that russian bombing last siege broke the back of Al Nusra.