Syrian War Report – August 1, 2018: Southwestern Syria Liberated. Idlib Next?

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On July 31, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies established full control of southwestern Syria after government troops eliminated ISIS in the villages of Beit Irah, Qusayr and Kowaya thus liberating the entire Yarmouk Valley.

According to pro-government sources, about 100 ISIS members surrendered to government troops in the final stage of the operation. Some sources say that about 25 of them were executed by locals and ex-members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) that were participating in the SAA operation. However, these reports still have to be confirmed.

The total death toll of ISIS during the battle for the Yarmouk Valley remains unclear, but according to some local sources, over 1,000 terrorists were killed.

Now, the SAA will have to focus on employing additional security measures in the liberated area in order to prevent terrorist attacks from ISIS cells hiding among civilians.

According to some pro-government sources, some SAA units, which were involved in the southwestern Syria operation, started redeploying from the Yarmouk Valley to eastern al-Suwayda where they will participate in an effort to purge ISIS cells responsible for the recent terrorist attacks there.

Early on August 1, reports appeared that clashes erupted between the SAA and members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nura, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and other militant groups in northern Latakia. The clashes were reportedly accompanied by intense artillery strikes from the Syrian military.

Some pro-government media outlets claimed that this was the start of the long-expected SAA advance in the area, but this is unlikely. The Syrian military command still has to re-deploy its elite units from southwestern Syria to the area if it wants to take any kind of large-scale military actions.

However, at least a limited military operation by the SAA in northern Latakia and southern Idlib has become very likely to take place soon.

During a new round of the Astana-format talks on Syria, which were held in the Russian city of Sochi on July 30-31, Syrian envoy to the UN Bashar Jaafari slammed Turkish actions in the province of Idlib and said that Damascus will kick out Turkish forces from the Syrian territory. The Syrian diplomat emphasized that Turkey is the only country of the guarantor states of the de-escalation agreement [two others: Russia and Iran] that has violated its obligations meaning that Ankara has contributed no efforts to combat Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the province.

Earlier, Syrian President Bashar Assad officially announced that the province of Idlib will be among the main targets in the upcoming operations of government troops.

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  • Cedric Hunter

    No, no, no. Idlib is a distraction at this point. Clearing out the Homs desert is the real objective for now. Clean up the desert as best you can, then move onto Idlib. Idlib later.

    • Kire Stojanovski

      As it was mentioned in this report, the eastern Suwayda is most likely to be cleared from ISIS cells first, then the Homs desert would be next. As of later, I’m not sure would it be wiser to clean all the Idlib pocket first, and to solve the problem with the Kurds later, hopefully with negotiations, if possible. Or maybe it would be wiser to solve the problem with the Kurds first, trying to use Turkey as a bargaining chip, before going into direct confrontation with Turkey in Idlib. Of course, it is possible to lunch a limited offensive operation in northern Latakia and Jisr Al Shugur first, as it was agreed with Turkey earlier, without going further to Idlib, and without going into direct confrontation with Turkey. But anyhow, even if they try to use Turkey as a bargaining chip, I don’t believe it could be much useful, as they have reached an agreement with the US already, after which Turkey isn’t threating the Syrian Kurds anymore, except if they decide to break that agreement. But direct negotiations with the Kurds, for finding a final solution for a lasting peace, if aren’t started yet and ongoing, must be started as soon as possible. Anyway, sooner or later, all of Idlib must be liberated from Nusra terrorists and militants, and all of northern Syria which is under Kurdish control must be brought back under the Syrian government. Idlib, Afrin, Raqa, Omar oil fields, all of them are Syrian territories and belong to the Syrian country, and must be brought back under the Syrian government.

    • ελευθεριος βενιζελος

      the ex rebels with some ndf can do that i think…

  • antoun

    clearing the pockets daesh of suweida east and big pocket daesh desert east homs and idlieb later!!!

  • fight zionism

    ISIS is going out of control in eastern sweida

    • Attrition47

      Not for long.

  • seawolf

    Let the Syrian army decide how they will proceed, they know better

  • gustavo

    I guess Syria-Russia-Hebolah-Iran will evaluate what is the next target. Whatever they decide, it will be a difficult task that will require a very strong support and protection of Russia aerospace force. Good luck, and keep going, fast, strong, and without mercy.

  • Attrition47

    The Syrians are spoilt for choice; what a difference a couple of years and forty Russian bombers makes.

  • frankly

    This reversal of the tide in Syria is unprecedented for F.uk.us and friends since WW II. Viet Nam was lost at home. This is a virtual collapse of their Military power in the face of a major part of the world who are literally fighting for their lives. The handwriting is on the wall for all to see. Submit or die.

    I hope they do invade Iran as the resolve of the new allies is strong, the threat is clear. F.uk.us and friends have certainly destroyed much of their credibility in the world by absolutely wearing out the false flag and evil enemy paradigms with the totally dominating uni-message of the MSM.

    Study the USS Liberty and then tell us who the enemies of mankind are. Free Julian Assange! Liberate the Palestinians. Free yourself from debt slavery and all addictions. Don’t sell your TV, destroy it, it is the most potent tool of the state.

    Pray for the deliverance of all victims of oppression and dishonesty. Start with ourselves, learn the virtues of morality and live by them. Decadence destroys. Build a stronger self, family and community. Let the government die from self inflicted wounds. A house divided can not stand and they fuck’in divided it with their evil ways!

    As for the Syrian’s next goal, they just grind and grind. You can’t knock success, though a huge number of people try. Honestly I doubt if they care what we think, they are too busy grinding evil.

    • Rodney Loder

      Are you an anarchist ?

      • frankly

        I do not consistently feel any closeness with any particular group. It seems we are all compromised by money and materialism. My greatest joy comes from the spiritual. My worst enemies are psychopaths and they, being drawn to power, seem firmly established in all institutions.

        I like the ideas around consultative group leadership, but it seems mostly an ideal that psychopaths rip to shreds as soon as it gains traction. I am very conservative in personal habits. I am extremely honest and trustworthy. But I hate being ordered about or dominated by egotistical know it all type people.

        I am an honorably discharged US veteran but frankly hated it and never fit except for a brief period before the end of my enlistment when for self preservation I became the thing I hated. Bullying subordinates and ordering people around. The command made up the papers for my reenlistment. It was all I could do to not laugh in their faces when they brought me in to sign them. My gung ho persona was a show to prevent them from harassing me in the last part of my enlistment as I had seen them do to many of my friends who openly declared their joy for returning to the civilian world.

        Some of the aspects of an over regulated society are appalling to me. Too many rules and regulations stifle humanity. But anarchy seems like what psychopaths desire so no, too much freedom in anarchy.

        • Rodney Loder

          My take on the spiritual is always the individual, there is no other spirit unless you call what brought about connection (Creation) in the beginning as well as cognition now, a spirit , which its not, because spirit is only memory and there was nothing to remember back then, the big daddy spirit I think is the bridge that people confuse with Allah, you could call the bridge fate but you’d only be half right the anticedent of fate way back then in my opinion was in fact possibility, and even there I consider fate was a thing without memory as they “co-realitied” as contemporaries with fate the dominant partner or premises, I favour premises as syllogism points to symbiosis inferring that even then it was all about fighting.

          We fight our way in, then fight our way out, destiny is the reverse of Creation, live by the sword die by the sword sort of thing.

          Anyhow I’ve just discovered that memory did exist in possibility, as the residue of rudiments.

          Join me in the search for what rudiments are, and become famous then die destroying fame.

          Actually I loved the Military but didn’t get far I was in the Australian Citizens Military Forces for a few months but resigned to be an anti-Vietnam war activist, I think because I love fighting so much, my son had about 50 amateur boxing fights and17 professional and I was his Trainer, he did 12 years in the Army and now is a Sailor for about 3 years, he says US ships couldnt be more different to ours, US ships are very racially segregated and Australian ships are racially ambiguous, I think this could be something to do with American exceptualism, maybe if you reject exceptionalism you are occidental in an oriental environment or vice versa.

          Im a Stalinist Salafist, you can join our group if you want, furthermore if your any good you can take over from me as the leader.

          • frankly

            Not gonna pretend I know what you are talking about, but certainly am not saying you don’t. These is uncharted territory for me. The paradox around fighting and protesting the war is fascinating. I think the most exceptional thing about Americans is the way they celebrate their ignorance. I have been in Canada since 90′. When I take a few spiritual steps according to the advice of almost any main religion it brings a certain peace to my life that is not inherently there. A little prayer, a kind intention for someone suffering. Above all I find some satisfaction in trying to greet anyone I meet for where they are at that point. It is less easy with intoxicated people whom I avoid, until they are sober.

            As to leading a group, it must not be so great or you would not be so quick to give it up? I have often found your posts to bring a unique and interesting perspective though like this note it is a bit beyond my comprehension, sometimes. As to going into Salafi, for me chronologically, it would be a step into the past. That is a hint as to my allegiance that has been shaken badly over the last few years. I may yet return to my roots, I pray for that.

          • Rodney Loder

            Leadership comes with a price for genuine people but its impossible to refuse without turning your back on responsibility, insincere people become leaders and extort an income by creating responsibilities for genuine leaders to pay, consequentaly ethics wouldn’t exist without immorality, confirming the purpose of life is to be judged by what people believed from the truth that they know.

            Commentators are the most genuine of all people because they do it for fun, what is fun ? well !!! Jeremy Benthamin who probably suffered from Asperger syndrome ( restrictive interest and or repetitive behaviour restricting normal interaction) and could be why he never married tells us that his best fun was. I quote from a contemporary reference to him which includes his personal memoirs.

            During his (Jeremys ) youthful visits to Bowood House, the country seat of his patron Lord Lansdowne, he passed his time at falling unsuccessfully in love with all the ladies of the house, whom he courted with a clumsy jocularity, while playing chess with them and giving them lessons on the harpsichord. Hopeful to the last at age 80 he wrote again to one of them recalling her memory to the far off days when she had “presented him, in ceremony, with the flower in the green lane” (citing Bentham’s memoirs). To the end of his life he could not hear of Bowood House without without tears swimming in his eyes, and he was forced to exclaim, “Take me forward I entreat you, to the future -do not let me go back into the past”.

            I think as as Stalinist that Marx was a Romantic sure enough but not a very good one, Jeremy is our leader we are the Utilitarians we are the Consequentalists, always on the lookout for a new leader, another mug who loves missing out.

          • frankly

            Read this 3 separate times, it’s fascinating, pushes a lot of buttons. Do not know how to respond though. Another mug who loves missing out, gosh talk about hitting the nail on the head, ouch, or is it a complement? Ah, the source of great pain, my ex-wife. Have you ever howled like a wounded animal?

            Recently we have rekindled our lost romance. It is like nothing bad ever happened, all the old emotions awakened, for me, at any rate. Alas 2400 km away, 4800 round trip. Yes cryptic, touching, on going communication.

            I dreamt of meeting her again after death, no fear or sense of loss at my demise, just great joy to see her again. So indeed take me forward, the lessons of the past are still vivid, the habits of old linger, but a new way is ever more promising.

            My only way to lead is a sort of competition, gosh can’t let this old fart out smart us again, let’s either out work him or sabotage him. But lead nah!

            Utility and consequence, yup

          • Rodney Loder

            Questions are endless, n’.th. to the ultimate degree, take it to the limit, OK I will ask the ultimate question. Why do we have to do something, why do we feel this imperative that disrups what we’ve already started, is it only a feeling of inspiration a great cause for us to be actually inoperative ? .

            I asked this question and thinkers have answered that we do things to cause results, I’d rather be a hammer than a nail, a hammer moves on and a nail srays in the same place, but a nail only gets wacked once and a hammer keeps on getting clouted, but a hammer is case hardened an nearly all nails are soft, the impact is perfect union the only time we reall see stars the hammer doesn’t remember unless the old fart cant grip the handel then the hammer and nail are equals and the hammer can renember at last.

            By God your right you reall do have leadetship material.

  • ελευθεριος βενιζελος

    as the japs are saying tora tora tora… and by november in Astana Assad wiil find an excuse…