Syrian War Report – April 3, 2018: Government Forces Liberate 5 Settlements In Rastan Pocket

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On April 2, government forces established control of the town of Taqsis and the villages of Zour Abu Dardah, Jamaqiliya, al-Mishyah, Imarah in the Rastan pocket in northern Homs. These villages had been controlled by local militants under the influence of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda). However, the SAA reached an understanding with the locals and was able to enter the area without fighting.

In March, reports repeatedly appeared highlighting the growing tensions between the SAA and local militants in the Rastan pocket. Armed groups had rejected a proposal to reach a full reconciliation agreement and to allow government bodies to operate in the area. In response, the SAA reportedly threatened militants with a direct military action.

With the inevitable liberation of Eastern Ghouta, the Rastan pocket, the Eastern Qalamoun pocket and the Yarmouk Refugee Camp area become obvious targets of the military and diplomatic efforts of the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance.

The elimination of these pockets will be an important part of the wider effort aimed at challenging other, much bigger threats to the territorial integrity of Syria.

In Eastern Ghouta, 1,065 militants and their family members were evacuated from the Douma district under a deal between Jaish al-Islam and the Syrian government, the state-run news agency SANA reported on April 2.

According to SANA, these people were evacuated using 20 buses. Their destination is the town of Jarabulus in northern Syria, which is occupied by Turkish forces.

According to some sources, the evacuated persons are former Jaish al-Islam fighters as well as sick and injured people. However, the scale of evacuation indicates that the group’s leadership are just attempting to avoid a public declaration that it has surrendered.

The Iraqi military has plans to launch a cross-border military operation to combat terrorists in Syria, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi told media during his weekly press conference on April 1.

“The situation in Syria remains a real challenge and we are focused on finding a solution. We have gone from fighting terrorism in Iraq to fighting terrorism in Syria,” he said adding that the military operation in Syria was discussed with military commanders on March 31.

Currently, the main area of ISIS activity is the Syrian-Iraqi border. Thus, according to some experts, Syrian and Iraqi forces may indeed launch some coordinated effort to end the terrorist group’s presence there.

However, the area north of al-Bukamal is the cause of serious concern. This part of the Euphrates bank is occupied by the US-led coalition through the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Over the last few months, the coalition and the SDF have done very little to combat ISIS there. At the same time, Washington is threatening to attack Syrian forces if the cross the Euphrates River.

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  • Move, Bitch! Get out the way!

  • Jim Prendergast

    The SAA is gaining skill. They are getting very god at this.

    • gustavo

      Remember that Russia generals and intelligence is also behind all of this.

  • KennyB

    It looks like the Syrian/Iranian/Russian forces managed to completely foil the attempt to create a pretext for a major US/UK attack on Syria when they overran the chemical weapons labs in East Ghouta before the assorted bad guys could execute the plan. Now there’s no ready excuse for US and their fellow hoodlums to launch an aerial attack on Damascus and as reckless as the Washington Criminals are, they do realise that the support of the US public is needed for their stupid wars against other nations.

    Given that they haven’t told the American public that their intention from day one was to create failed states and total chaos in the Middle East and North Africa, the obvious conclusion that the “reasonable man” has drawn is that the US isn’t very good at ground offences against Muslim terrorists and they have seen the news clips about the refugees trying to get to Europe and they aren’t very impressed with the US plan to create another mess in Syria.

    When it comes to the point that all the pockets of assorted bad guys have been liberated and attention can be turned to the East of Syria, perhaps the US won’t be quite so gung-ho about facing battle-hardened Syrian/Iranian/Russian forces with very effective air cover and air defences. I’d like to see them pack up and fuck off back to America without a fight, but images of dead Americans and US aircraft being shot out of the sky on CNN and Fox News will also be a suitable message to America. Seeing that they are in Syria illegally, they can hardly go bleating to the UN about it. If the Anglo-American-Zionist Empire finally learns that they can’t just do as they please and that we’re no longer living in a unipolar world, that will be cause to celebrate.

    • gustavo

      USA-Israel-NATO can invent or construct any excuse they need to attack Syria army, but first they need to wash northamerica people brain with the help of their media.

      • KennyB

        They can and do invent justifications for their war crimes. Keeping the general public on side isn’t so easy these days. They need total control over the Internet in order to suppress any dissent. These are the people who criticised Soviet censorship for decades and boasted about “American freedoms”.

        • Sinbad2

          Yeah but even then it was a lie.
          Look up John W Powell, the US imprisoned him for 7 years without trial, for publishing a story about alleged(actual) American war crimes.

          • KennyB

            The type of activity that only Totalitarian States do, right?

    • Ryan Glantz

      You forget about the secret space programs. USA, Russia, and China all have tech that’s hundreds of years ahead of where we’re at. USA and Russia especially.

      • Sinbad2

        Photon torpedoes and light sabres, just fantastic stuff, I love sci fi movies.

    • MasterBlaster7

      Pfft…Muslims killing Muslims and the US with a foothold in Syria…I don’t see the problem. And the idea of the Russians tangling ass with the US…not going to happen…Putin isn’t stupid. Anyways, our chit is on pause in Syria…got this mess with a fat little hamster in North Korea to deal with before the mud dwellers. Now why don’t you go crawl back under a rock before you catch a slap from a ‘merican.

      • KennyB

        And there’s the attitude that lies at the core of the problem: the belief that America has the right to impose their will on everyone else. The “Manifest Destiny” bullshit has morphed into the “American Exceptionalism” bullshit along with the idea that America is the “Indispensible nation”. History teaches us that all Empires collapse when they reach the point that America has. It’s inevitable. Many people have seen the writing on the wall as a quick search of Amazon books will show, but the people who should be leading the way have lost the plot. All that the academics of West Point can think of is more of the same failed tactics. More war, more weapons, more killing. It will be the death of the American Empire.

        • DenLilleAbe

          Hear, hear!
          Well done!

  • Smith Ricky

    The future power of the middle east, is in the making.

  • Len Zegelink

    kick the isis en the usa out of syria and iraq .zionists scumbags.

  • horst

    ..so the US is threatening the SAA if they try to fight ISIS east of the Euphrates bank which is occupied by the US-led coalition through the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). So the Iraqi military is now doing this knowing that there would be little reason or logic for the US to threaten those forces. Smart move, hope it works out.

  • Johnny Canuck

    Once Syria is freed of the Amerikan/ Isis-ra-eli/ Wahabbi-backed filth, maybe the Syrian refugees in my country can return home.

    • Sinbad2

      You know the refugees were all part of the American plan, not to disrupt Canada, but to create chaos and disharmony within the EU.
      The EU is more of an economic threat to the US than Russia. Of course the Europeans are too stupid to see what is actually going down. But the US is trying very hard to get Europe into a war with Russia. The US will of course sell the EU weapons, and after it is over the US will lend them the money to rebuild. That should give the American empire at least 50 years more life.

      • Johnny Canuck

        Nice summation.

        Cheers!

  • Eskandar Black

    SAA and other media source should demand an explanation and shame the US/French/British forces for using US air power and special forces to defend a massive ISIS pocket in Eastern Syria.

  • DenLilleAbe

    The US have done fok all lately to fight the remains of ISIS, they are not there for that purpose. I hope they get a little insurgency on their hands east of Euphrates.
    Cool if the Iraqi force could mount joint operations with the SAA.

    • Sinbad2

      General Petraeus created some death squads using officers from Saddam’s army, they were his hit squads of his surge. He trained them, and integrated them into the US military. When the US had finished using them, they grew bored, and created ISIS. The US military continued to support, them secretly.

      The USA is ISIS.

      • DenLilleAbe

        I know of the origins of ISIS. But Iraq seems to be getting it right, slowly albeit. So the leadership in ISIS is hard pressed now, that is why they are not being hammered, ohh and because they are in “sphere” of influence in Syria, that was the American’s.
        So ISIS is sheltering under the US, the Kurds have their hands full elsewhere, so nothing happens, ‘cept the Iraqi’s have stated they want to get rid of them, no matter they are in Syria, Damascus has already given consent.
        So the US is really out on a limb here, rightfully, and have few choices left.

        • Sinbad2

          Maybe, but Masum a Kurd is Washington’s boy, and no Talabani.
          The way that ISIS picked up all that American kit at the beginning of the war was a deliberate move by Iraq.