Syrian War Report – August 16, 2018: Militant Propaganda Goes Wild Ahead Of Battle For Idlib

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On August 15, ISIS attacked several positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies in the southern part of the al-Taim oil field in the province of Deir Ezzor. According to pro-opposition sources, the following clashes resulted in minor casualties among the both sides but the terrorist group’s members were forced to retreat causing almost no damage to the government’s infrastructure in al-Taim.

In July and August, ISIS units carried several attacks on SAA positions in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert. According to local sources, these attacks are an attempt to draw the SAA attention from ISIS cells hiding in the desert area at the administrative borders between the provinces of al-Suwayda and Rif Damashq.

The estimated manpower of the ISIS units operating in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert, and according to some sources in the US zone of responsibility near the At-Tanf garrison, is about 1,000 members.

Abu al-Fath al-Farghaly, a senior commander of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), warned Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that his group will “cut the feet” of any soldier, who would attack the so-called opposition in the province of Idlib.

“The Mujahedeen are in their strongest physical and moral status and their will won’t decline for a moment until the liberation of Damascus and beyond,” al-Farghaly said in an open letter to Lavrov, according to the HTS-linked news agency Iba’a.

This unprecedented open letter has been described by Syrian experts as a desperate attempt to boost morale of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies ahead of a possible SAA operation in the province of Idlib. Previously, militants groups have repeatedly claimed that they would never retreat from Aleppo city, Daraa, Quneitra and other key areas. However, all of them has been liberated by the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance. The history is about to repeat itself once again in Idlib.

Meanwhile, the SAA artillery has increased strikes on Hayat Tahrir al-Sham targets near the villages of Sarja and Umm Rajim and nearby areas in southern Idlib. Several members Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and Jaysh al-Izza were reportedly killed in the shelling.

Artillery strikes as well as separate airstrikes by the Syrian military is aimed at destroying the militants’ defense infrastructure and weapon depots. This would help the SAA in case of a large-scale confrontation in this area.

While some pro-government sources have already claimed that the Idlib advance will be launched soon, many still depends on results of the ongoing behind the scenes negotiations between Russia and Turkey on the issue. The situation is developing.

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  • Gregory Casey

    Satan is waiting patiently at the Gates of Hell for Abu al-Fath al-Farghaly together with his minions in Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and he will receive them all, lovingly, into eternal hell-fire where they can scream Allah Akbar as often and for as long as they please. They will all be delivered neatly into Satan’s gentle hands by the Syrian Arab Army together with their Allies.

    • Dicksonrp

      But remind them just in case ..satan’s kingdom is right next door in occupied Palestine …encampment called isrealhell!!

  • northerntruthseeker .

    This battle for the Idlib pocket will take more time than the East Ghouta and southern Syrian battles… The American run phoney “rebels” have been rearmed with the latest in weaponry and have had their positions bolstered by the arrival of those fraud “rebels” and mercenaries that were allowed safe passage by the SAA to get to Idlib….

    BUT the outcome will be the same as elsewhere as the SAA and their allies will eventually eliminate this pocket and then concentrate on the Al Tanf position to the south and eventually the SDF on the eastern side of the Euphrates…. The goal for the SAA and the Syrian people is still the same as a few years back which is to free ALL of Syria from the evil US/Israel/NATO scourge….

    • jorge

      More time? Why? Even the potatoes logic says it will be faster.

      • TS

        Heat.. IR is more effective with a large gradient.. Anyway watching the rats scurry around sorts out the potential targets, even the tunnel works.

    • temujin1970

      Concentrate them in one area then wipe them out. The Turks wont allow them into their teritory, dispite Turkish talk about stopping SAA advance, it wont happen, Turkey does not have the political capital to ngage the SAA, Russia and Iran will pressure them to withdraw. The head choppers are done for. No more places to run.

      • Hisham Saber

        I think the Syrian government should weaponize the Syrian tribes in the north to launch a furious insurgency against the Turks. Just bleed them dry. That way, the SAA, NDF , Hezbollah and auxiliaries can claim plausible deniability.

        All that has to happen is for the NDF to shed their uniforms and start wearing civilian clothing and just start going after the Turks ferociously. Actually, Turkey, the U.S., Britain, France all are starting to feel the anger of the local populations, and sooner rather than later, this insurgency will start in earnest. Just bleed them to death. Death by one thousand cuts. Just like the U.S. forces got chopped up and shredded by IED’s and snipers, RPG’s in Iraq, where 14 out of the U.S. Army’s 16 battalions were effectively bogged down in untenable ground.

    • Hisham Saber

      Not really. I think Idlib will be taken quite quickly, being that the Al-Nusra and all the others held up there have been striped of their medium and heavy weapons.

      I really don’t believe the combatants are equipped to rout, stop or deter the leading spearheads into Idlib by the Syrian Arab Army, NDF, Hezbollah and auxiliaries. This spearhead is made up of the best soldiers/fighters in the world, whom after 7 years of continuous, brutal war of attrition, have by now been distilled down to perhaps the best forces in the world.

      The spearhead will be led by the SAA’s Tiger Forces and the 4th Armored Division, who have a great knack for knocking militants back and effectively routing and otherwise destroying those who want to stand and fight.

      The militants now held up in Idlib have no where to go but back to Turkey, that’s why Turkey is a bit nervous, and are wanting to, and have been talking to Lavrov about the nightmarish scenario for Turkey, having all those militants headed for their border with Syria. And Turkey doesn’t have a leg of diplomatic nor military leg to stand on when it comes to interfering with the Syrian Arab Army and its allies from taking back ALL Syrian territory. They will have to withdraw, or they will face a furious insurgency from the Arab, Assyrian and Kurdish tribes in the northern part of Syria. Along with inevitable clashes with the SAA and its allies.

      The Chinese have said on record that they have, and are still in the process, of sending Special Forces and officers to help Syria take back Idlib. The Chinese are getting into the military aspect of the regions battles, and not only helping Syria through grants, economic aid, goods and i’m sure weapons. They have been floating the Syrian government financially since around 2013-14. Two reasons why the Chinese are now involved militarily in Syria, first, they want the troublesome Uighur fighters that are in Idlib, whom hail from China’s north-west, and heavily subverted by the CIA, Mi6, Mossad, secondly, Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon, put together form a crucial , indispensable part of the OBR Silk Road/s,

      Idlib will be a sweep and clear operation, nothing more. The SAA and allies have all the momentum, in fact, I say they should immediately make a dash and blitz the Golan. Maybe that’s next. I know Israel is very afraid of that happening.

      • alejoeisabel

        The Israeli occupied Syrian Golan Heights has water and hydrocarbons and fertile land. That is why the Zionists stole it in the first place. They tried to steal Southern Lebanon, but were defeated by Hezbollah. It will not be easy to dislodge the Israeli occupiers.

        • Hisham Saber

          Israeli’s / IDF are cowards by nature. Israel could get ‘ taken ‘ by the forces of the axis of resistance quite easily, as the IDF are not nowhere near as experienced as the Iraqi’s, Syrians and Iranians, as well as Hezbollah. The forces of the axis of resistance have 7 years of desert, rural and urban combat experience with a dogged and very determined foe and is crushing that foe very effectively.

          The forces of the axis of resistance, the Syrian Arab Army, NDF and auxiliaries, the battalions of Hezbollah including Special Forces (Ridwan brigades), about 30 thousand Afghan volunteers, and more coming, that are fighting alongside the Syrian army, the many, many Chechens, most likely sent from Mr. Khadyrov himself, are embedded with the Tigers and 4th Division of the SAA, the Iraqi PMU’s, essentially the Iraqi army and whom answer to IRGC Gen. Solemenei, who answers directly to Mr. Khamenei, Iraqi Hezbollah, and an array of allied militias and volunteers. Syrian and Lebanese volunteers. And Syria has alsways been on partial mobilization, never going for medium or full mobilization nor draft. If it did, you can count maybe another 500 thousand armed men.

          All these forces would annihilate the Zionist usurpers. The IDF, like I said, don’t have real combat experience like the forces I mentioned above. Israel does not have any strategic depth to speak of, which is actually its Achilles heel. The IDF are of poor quality, as we saw in 2006 against Hezbollah alone, not all the forces lined up today against Israel do and have momentum behind them. These forces are very cohesive now, there is really no stopping them, infact, they could challenge Turkey and the U.S. in the region quite easily, and they will, if the U.S. is still dumb enough to keep Special Forces, bases in Syria and Iraq. They are sitting targets that can easily be overwhelmed and destroyed, they are surrounded by a hostile population, who are already showing serious signs of displeasure at their being bases and U.S. / SDF Kurds in Arab land. Along with the forces of the axis of resistance, the U.S. will most likely seek to pull out soon.

          Again, the IDF are a bunch of derelicts and cowards that only excel at killing unarmed civilians and firing missiles from afar. The IDF are poor quality when the tough gets going. They are LGBQT’s, exchange students from the U.S., and criminal Russian Jews on the run from justice in Russia. Thye pose no threat. Its all the Myth of the ‘ Mighty Tshahal ‘ , the ‘ invincible Army of God ‘ , just like their Merkava MBT’s are ‘ Chariots of God ‘ , and are no longer in production, as they are inferior design, and weaknesses that Hezbollah exploited and shred many of them in 2006. Of the 400 Merkava’s deployed in the 33 day battle, 44 were completely destroyed, most within sight of the border. 75,000 IDF soldiers, including the much hailed Golani Brigades, and two armored battalions were effectively held off and pretty much routed by 4500 Hezbollah ‘ regulars ‘ , as Hezbollah happened to have stationed its best forces, commandos, special forces north of the Litani Line, and they saw no action. So imagine if Hezbollah went full throttle in 2006, now imagine the forces of the axis of resistance, whom are being effectively led by IRGC Gen. Solemenei, for the most part, imagine they take on the sorry IDF.

          At such a juncture, the best thing that Israel can hope for to save itself, and they do count on this heavily, is that the U.S., Britain, France quickly come to their rescue. But by looking at Afghanistan, Iraq 2.0 and Yemen, the U.S., Britain and France simply haven’t been able to field forces that are desired by their leadership. 17 years later and the U.S. is still fighting the Taliban, who are wearing beach sandals and bed sheets, armed with light weapons and no home bases. In Iraq 2.0, 14 out of the total 16 Battalions of the U.S. Army were effectively bogged down and wore down, death by one thousand cuts, by determined insurgents who terrorized the U.S. coalition troops with devastating IED’s and snipers. The U.S. forces were forced to garrison themselves in isolated bases far from population centers or hot zones. which the whole of Iraq became for them.

          The writing is on the wall for the apartheid Zionist regime. Its just a matter of a little preparation and getting everyone and everything in order. All it takes is for one phone call from Mr. Khamenei, and Israel will be in serious peril. And I have not even incuded the scenario , and how nightmarish it would be for the Israeli’s, the U.S., Britain and France, along for all the GCC Gulf states, if Iran joined the battle, or was attacked. Then you can add millions of armed men, who will sweep across the region. The U.S. / Israel and their allies can do nothing but bomb from the air, but you can only do so much of that, and the battle is then determined on the ground, where the U.S./ Israel are heavily outnumbered, outmaneuvered, outflanked, and again, Israel has no strategic depth. It cannot sustain itself, as its population is neither morally nor psychologically prepared for a major battle/s, struggle. Neither does the Israeli economy have the capacity to survive a conflict lasting more than a month.

          Cheers, Salam.

          • alejoeisabel

            I concur in your narrative. The Zionist dream has reached its end with the defeat of the plans to topple the government of Bashar Assad. The Syrian Arab Republic has not only prevailed but triumphed over all regional enemies including Syria’s main enemy, the Israeli occupier. Now, Syria must consolidate and fortify its gains. That means that it must have a defensive capability similar to that if DPRK which has roughly the same population.

          • Kell McBanned

            One thing though the crazies in Tel Aviv (they have the highest paranoia/mental illness rates in the world due to inbreeding) can and will use nuclear, chemical and biological weapons to save themselves.

            Unlike Western forces that largely play by the rules they will not discriminate and target everyone they can, women children the lot.
            The world has a huge problem on its hands with these unstable, mentally ill nuclear armed supreamisists sitting in the Middle East.
            Probably best solved by surrunding it and letting it eat itself slowly but surely.

      • Kell McBanned

        Yes I agree.
        The fact the SAA can concentrate massive force now most of the country has been already cleared will help a huge amount.
        The proximity of Idlib to the Russian airbase will also make airstrikes easier and more frequent.
        Could be a massive rout and not take as long as we think, the terrorists are not bottled up like in Ghouta, they have the ability to run to Turkey.

  • US-Navy Revert Shia

    I say As A Revert Shia, Former US-Navy, Vietnam War 1973, “Kill them All” Then Let Almighty ALLAH-(SWT) Sort It All Out….

  • jorge

    South Front loves military propaganda?

  • Tim Benz

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  • Tim Benz

    @hishamsaber:disqus and @disqus_okqClJH1zr:disqus both of you, have rational argugments – we will see. I hope for the best, especially for the civilians too.

  • Rodney Loder

    Thank Allah and His faithful servants for coming to the rescue of the SAA, ; AGAIN, !!!. Yes Trump may not be a Muslim but he certainly is acting like one keeping my Brother Erdogan preoccupied on economic issues which is understood by all honest jihadists as a legitimate reason to turn his attention to the highest priority and away from Idlib, allowing the gates of Paradise to be thrown fully open, all praise be to Allah and His servant Brother Erdogan and to a lesser extent Brother Trump.