Syrian War Report – August 29, 2017: ISIS Defense Collapses In Uqayribat Pocket

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Voiceover by Harold Hoover

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Qalamoun Shield Forces are working to liberate the ISIS-held area of Uqayribat which was encircled by government forces earlier this month.

The SAA and its allies have recently liberated Kherbet Bil’as, Mushrifat Huwaysis, Kherbet, Kherbet Tawil Bil’as, and Jub Abyad, closing in on ISIS units in Uqayribat.

The town is the last remaining ISIS stronghold in the area north of the Homs-Palmyra highway.  As soon as it’s liberated, government forces will be able to focus on lifting the ISIS siege from Deir Ezzor.

The Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed 26 more pieces of ISIS military equipment, including 4 battle tanks and 2 fortified strong points belonging to the terrorist group, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Monday.

The failed ISIS advance in the Ghanem Ali area allegedly allowed the SAA to develop momentum along the  Euphrates River.  According to the defense ministry, ISIS is now trying to re-group its forces in the province of Deir Ezzor.

Commanders of two Arab factions within the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Ibrahim al-Banawi and Fayyad al-Ghanim, have reportedly defected to the SAA in the province of Raqqah amid the growing Kurdish-Arab tensions within the SDF.

Earlier, reports appeared that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) were preparing to arrest both of the commanders as well as some members of their groups: Liwa Jund al-Haramain and Liwaa Suqour al-Raqqa.

Kurdish militias remain the only real military power within the SDF and contribute all possible efforts to consolidate political and military influence in the SDF-held areas.

Meanwhile, the SDF has captured Mansour district and advanced in the Thakanah district in the city of Raqqah.  Pro-Kurdish sources speculate that the entire city will be liberated from ISIS within 1-2 months.

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  • Greywolf

    Isis rats run out of the pocket to ildib region by now

  • I thought HTS (Qaida) in Idlib was going to save their bacon? :D

    • Xanatos

      I’m convinced they already did. The best fighters and their leaders already crossed the SAA highway to Aleppo.

      They never meant to hold it more than an hour, they just needed to transfer troops to HTS in idlib. I estimate between 500 and 2,000 fighters escaped from the pocket in that brief time.

      You can’t separate hts and Isis. They share the same fighters, always had.

  • Cheryl Brandon

    ISIS is bound to collapse once; they are being starved of their oxygen i.e weapons/hostages/ territory and hideaways? Russian Air force is pummelling their supplies so, they can away like stinking rats but, they cannot hide anymore! Kaboom! Thanks ancestors for Hezbollah’s clinical work in the filed; SAA and Russian are heroes! We salute them!

    • PJ London

      More importantly, the ISIS command structure is being airlifted out of theatre. (Back to Tel Aviv and London/Washington)
      This will cause greater damage than the bombs.
      When the generals acknowledge defeat, one can hardly expect the troops to carry on.

  • Jan Tjarks

    Well, not being around for a few days, it’s pleasing to see that nearly everything is going as expected. Not that it was difficult to see, with Daeshs ever dwindling manpower.

    From the pockets only Uqayribat is still there, as expected, it would take a little longer.
    Al-Qaeda (HTS) its attack just gave some relieve for this pocket, but didn’t change anything regarding the outcome.
    Around Ma’Adan Daesh plays hide and seek, while they just seek to regroup and have to hide. However, the front line, as being expected, barely moving. The oil field taken by Daesh is just a side story.
    SAA advancing from Suknha around the border of the Deir Ezzor Governance, getting ever closer to the city itself.
    T2 under threat now, again, Daesh losing the initiative in the area.

    It’s a steady advance, while the question remains, how long Daesh still can put up a fight. Ma’adan being the last real battle, as the manpower depletes more and more? Probably, but we might see a little surprise here and there, but nothing substantial in the end.

    Time to be lifted to Afghanistan or Libya Daesh … request the holy choppers of your masters, better sooner than later. =)

    • heydad

      Yes all of isis small battlefield gains are quickly lost. While some have critizied the SAA ability to contend with the front line, it should be remembered the sheer scale of this operation. Some small pockets will break thru and some outpost may be overrun but the overall effectiveness of the SAA and allies is determined by its ability to react and maintain battlefield gains, which they have shown by quickly painting the map red, in blood and glory

      • Jan Tjarks

        Well, with the SAA we are talking about an army that was on the brink of collapse. Many people do not understand that, even with the support from Russia, how difficult it is to rebuild an army during a war. How many examples are given in history in which armies during a war were rebuilt? Not that many. As such it is only logic that the SAA has to deal with many issues and setbacks.

        Give it a bit of peace time, not to only lick its wounds, but to regroup and to put the lessons learned to full effect, every other army in the EMEA region will look like a muppet show instead.

  • Attrition47

    Let’s hope that the Syrians anticipate spoiling attacks from Idlib etc when they go for Deir Ezzor and are waiting for them.

  • Rob

    US trained SDF they are Syrian just 2% of them are Kurds and the remaining all are Syrian Arab Muslims. They don’t want division of Syria. Therefore, two commanders have been defected to SAA and US air force strikes SDF in frustration. This is also US fail project.

  • ελευθεριος βενιζελος

    i can not imagine what soldiers are feeling when they see the map and when they compare it with a map from 2015 even 2016.I can not imagine how they found the will to continue for example after the loss of Idlib.They deserve the respect of their leadership when all this will end…

  • John Brown

    1-2 months is 1 to 2 months to late.

  • Don’t read butthurt replies

    “two commanders have been defected to SAA ”

    Very suspicious. The SAA should be careful. Spy… Spy…