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Syria, Russia Prepare For Operation To Lift ISIS Siege From Deir Ezzor

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Syria, Russia Prepare For Operation To Lift ISIS Siege From Deir Ezzor

A military meeting was held in the capital Damascus to discuss a possible operation to lift of the ISIS siege of Deir Ezzor through the capture of the strategic Palmyra-Deir Ezzor highway.

Representatives of the Russian military, high-ranking commanders of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), leaders of the newly-formed 5th Storming Corps, heads of Deir Ezzor tribes (like Fares Dagheem, Asa’ad al-Issa, Daham al-Jarad, and Mohammad Saleh) were involved.

The discussion focused on the possibility of launching a military operation to recapture the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor highway and to lift the siege from the embattled city.

It was suggested to launch a volunteer campaign to recruit the sons of Deir Ezzor from camps for internally displaced persons, tribal youth, and retired veterans to the 5th Storming Corps and pro-government tribal forces deployed in Palmyra and its countryside.

It is expected that Russia will support this campaign financially. Moscow has been already dooing this for some time providing a variety of weapons and equipment including the T-62m tanks to local tribal forces involved into the battle against ISIS.

Syria, Russia Prepare For Operation To Lift ISIS Siege From Deir Ezzor

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This offensive is expected to have three phases:

  1. The first phase will be aimed at the liberation of the strategic city of Sakhnah located about 45 km east of SAA positions in Palmyra.
  2. The second phase will focus on capturing the town of Kobajjeb. The liberation of this town will require that the capture of 70 km of a roadway and mountain chains east of Sakhnah.
  3. The third and last phase will be a 50 km march to SAA positions in the Deir Ezzor Airbase and inside the city.

As soon as these goals are achieved, the SAA will launch the second operation to secure the Deir Ezzor city. The aforementioned operation is expected to be launched by the end of 2017 in light of the unwavering series of losses of the ISIS terrorist group in Syria and Iraq. The SAA should not take more than a few months to accomplish the three phases of the operation that will entail ISIS’s banishment from the Syrian desert.

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El Diablo

This is idiot. They MUST clear south syria before to do this hig risk operation.

Adam Kafei

Very risky? Yes, idiotic? Not so much. Relieving Deir-Ezzor is long overdue at this time, further Deir-Ezzor is crucial to Syria’s long term viability as a state as well as the immediate threat of division currently posed by the Americans. Clearing southern Syria is less feasible than this is at this time, it would be a different story if Jordan were willing to co-operate but they’re actively helping terrorists and Iraq is unable to assist due to being in a similar situation as that of Syria.

Looking at this op, I’d suggest it’s weakest point isn’t on the ground. While the mobile defence ISIS used against the SAA in it’s last Raqqa offensive will be just as potent here, provided the Syrians clear a large enough buffer for Palmyra airport, the Russians can virtually nullify that threat using helicopters and other close air support. This is what I believe will be the deciding factor in such an advance. This op would also be greatly assisted if the Russians dropped an airborne detachment into Deir-Ezzor itself to bolster the defences and maybe create a buffer there to re-open the airbase allowing Russian attack helicopters to fly from there to assist the final leg of the offensive.

Dustil schmit

The problem is the sandstorms.

Adam Kafei

This is true, but I should imagine it’ll also be difficult to use ground weapons effectively under such conditions and that the skill, experience and discipline of the SAA (and co) should with proper reconnaissance give them the upper hand in such battles, even if it is only holding out until the weather is favourable for the aircraft to come back in.

I never said it wasn’t without risk, simply that should the ground work be laid properly said risk should be minimised and overall, it’s worth it.

El Diablo

The big risk is a war with Turkey in the north. In the south Jordania can’t do too much for rebels. Deir Ezzor isn’t now in big trouble. ISIS don’t seems to be able to gain more terrain, and have big trouble against Kurds. So: do the simplest thing first. Regain central (between Deir Hafer and Palmyra) and south Syria and all the pockets. Then face Turks and other riskful operation. The only good notice is: this operation will be at the end of the year. Maybe for that time ISIS will be half destroyed

Adam Kafei

I’m not convinced Turkey is willing to commit another act of self-harm on that scale at the present time, for all Erdogan’s sabre rattling. He may or may not go after the Kurds and the US may or may not intervene.

As to Deir Ezzor not being in big trouble, I disagree, while it was one pocket it was more or less okay, but now that it’s been split into two with more ISIS fighters coming in from Iraq, closing finishing off Deir Ezzor is going to be one of the most pressing issues for ISIS as it’s draining a large amount of resources that could be put to the defence of Raqqa, the government pockets there are also blocking major roads and the fact that ISIS did break the pocket into two shows how bad the situation is there.

A few months ago I’d have agreed with cleaning up the areas around the government ‘main land’, there are a lot of natural resource deposits that would be invaluable to the government in those areas and the pockets within government held territory are a pain in that they block major roads which would make life easier for the government logistically. But the American plans for Raqqa changes the priority list somewhat, especially with their jump across the river that issue has become all the more urgent and Deir Ezzor is the best place from which to counter those plans.

Further, while there are resource deposits just outside of government reach, there are far greater resources around Deir Ezzor and when you compare the strategic value of Deir Ezzor’s position to that of the areas just off the government ‘main land’, the risk/reward equation falls solidly in favour of the Deir Ezzor op, provided the foundations are properly laid.


They will employ local militias and I am sure some russian advisers and private contractors. The situation in the other fronts will be handled by the other corps.

Gabriel Hollows

True, if they were able to reclaim Palmyra without the Tiger Forces I’m sure they’ll manage here just fine. They have the ‘ISIS Hunters’ now, which will hopefully prove their worth.


There are some … other fighters, too. https://citeam.org/they-fought-for-palmyra-again-russian-mercenaries-killed-in-battle-with-isis/


It is not idiotic. Even the mere threat coming from the highway towards Deir-Ezzor will force the jihadists to redeploy. And the highway itself is relatively secure from both sides.

Miguel Redondo

200 km of a hose-type advance , are 400 km of open flanks for counterattack.





Valery Grigoryev

“disguise” in Russian :) While I don’t understand what did he mean…


The urgency for this operation comes from the recent land grab by US proxy forces in tabqa airfield and dam.

If the proxy forces grab deir Ezzor first, they will permanently deny syria its most valuable oil and gas fields.

If the saudis and turks didn’t launch their hama offensive, this operation could be feasible. But a lot of resources are tied down their. The idea that you can recruit veterans and children and give them second rate equipment to defeat isis (who has the help of foreign sponsors, including at times the Israeli airforce) is flawed.

The liberation of deir Ezzor always needed the assistance of the Iraqi army, once Mosul falls Iraq can free Abu Kamal and march up to deir Ezzor.

Solomon Krupacek

too late

Gabriel Hollows

This is some Game of Thrones level shit. Reality truly does surpass fiction.


I’m no millitary expert, but would it be possible and probably faster if the operation happened from the SDF territory, don’t SAA have a base in that area, they could use that and move south to reach deir ezzor, I imagen logistics would be a problem as well as CAS…just a thought


which base? they could come at it from two sides, yes

Trustin Judeau

The ones in Qamishli and Hassakah area but this was always non starter . The American proxy would have never allowed SAA to do this to relieve the city


It is a valid point, attack from Qamishli, where there are two bases and an airport while also keeping up pressure from Palmyra. Diplomacy does not allow for that to happen, for the troops to get to the frontline, they have to go through SDF territory. SAA does not trust them or US for that matter. Second, sending your best troops to Deir Ezzor through SDF territory would be too risky, US will just bomb them and call it an accident.


What about pocket resistance and salient ? by freeing pocket & salient SAA will have many free troops

El Diablo

I think is simpler to break the siege of Deir Ezzor By Deir Ezzor. ISIS have not plus the big strenght who had in february. And the U.S treath is overstimated. Kurds now have better relations with SAA than with USA. USA aren’t good allies against turks and this Kurds know well :D

Julius Meinel

Lift the siege in late 2017??!! Why not in 2025? Most here appear to be concerned about ISIS. Wrong. ISIS is very much a spent force at this point ( at least its Eastern Syrian branch). The great peril here is that the US and the Kurds have the opportunity to be at the city’s gates by late June. Raqqa will fall in less then 60 days from now and from there the US troops and the local tribes under their protection will head for to Deir Ezzor ;

I am sure they will come up with some dirty trick to enter the city, pretending perhaps to liberate it from ISIS; ISIS has served it its purpose and not it has become a disposable assets. Once the Americans are in Deir Ezzor no one will be able to dislodge them from there until they get what they want ( whatever that may be, it will not serve Assad’s interest for sure); at that point the eastern Syria can be delivered to Qatar’s interest groups which will construct at some point a gas pipeline for their large but stranded gas reserves, all the way to Turkey and thus undermine Russia’s position in the gas market. That would be of course very detrimental to Russia’s economic interest ( not to mention Syria’s); the only viable solution would be to drop a battalion on Russian paratroopers and have them brave the challenges until the siege is lifted by Syrian/ Russian troops. Without Russian military presence I predict by end of June US troops will be in the city and eastern Syrian will be lost to Assad and Russian allies for ever.


2018 may as well be 2525 , you said it . That’s long after the Americans have airlifted troops into and taken the area. Look at how they jumped into the dam by Raqqa . If Russia and Syria have not reclaimed Dier Azzor by the end of April , the Americans won’t wait until Raqqa is liberated , they will enter in May . Not only are the major oil fields north and south of it , but by holding Raqqa and Dier Azzor , they cut Syria and Lebanon off from Iran and Iraq . Syria and Lebanon will not be able to stand without Iraqi and Iranian backup .

Solomon Krupacek

you are right. and putin lose verything. there will be not his, but qatars pipeline, syria will die without oil fields AND Eufrates(!!!). finally will be revolt in western part, bacause will be no food and russinas will be kicked out. this is long term war and russian were always losers, because do not understand, that either do something 100 percently, or is better to do nothing. they do everything half-hearted.


The US took the dam by Raqqa , to destroy it , after Raqqa is flooded , it will be a walk in the park to “liberate” from Syria . The US is under no obligation to wait until Raqqa is finished , they want eastern Syria , to have and to hold .


I wonder can Syrian forces in the west of the country contact those in deir ezzor? Do the phones or internet still work?

Trustin Judeau

Yes they can contact with each other before the siege was broken .


wow this was 6 months ago i made this comment, and look where we are today :))))

Trustin Judeau

SAA have gone a long way . Remember when ISIS was at the gates of T4 8 months ago . So much progress since then . BTW looks like Madaan could have been captured by the TF


Yes astronomical progress!!! Ever since I created my account and started commenting and reading articles on here, they started making huge gains. Id like to think i, and the rest of us on here, were some sort of catalyst to get SAA to stop losing and start winning! Its been such a great time!!! And TF capturing ma ad an is great news!!


WOW, haven you realized that Kurds-USA is just weeks form Deir Ezzor ? I wonder whether this is just another Karry-lavrov agreement. If Kurds-USA arrive and take this city, Russia will be left in completely ridiculous, and impossible to recover Syria as the nation it was before, and with a permament USA military base in Kurds side ¿ have you see how close is Russia Lakania navy base from here ? USA will be able to destroy this Russia navy base in a matter of seconds.

Mark Meyers

What if the US plan is to drive ISIS out of Raqqa and into Deir Ezzor? Russia should establish a base with SAA in Deir Ezzor.

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