Syrian War Report – December 28, 2016: Govt Deploys 10,000-Strong Force For Advance On Palmyra

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The Syrian military has continued to deploy reinforcements to the battlefront against ISIS terrorists near the Tyas Airbase in the province of Homs. Pro-government sources say that the government is set use a 10,000-strong offensive force led by the Tiger Forces, the Desert Hawks Brigade and Hezbollah in the expected military operation to retake the ancient city of Palmyra. While local sources confirm the fact of deployment of additional fighters, it’s hard to expect that a major-scale military operation to retake Palmyra can be started in the nearest future. Most likely this will be a goal for 2017.

Clashes between ISIS and US-backed YPG forces continued on December 27 and 28 north of the Tabqa dam in the province of Raqqah. ISIS attacked YPG units near the vilalges of Jabar, Suwaydiya Saghirah and West Tareq. As a result terrorists stopped the YPG advance on the Tabqa dam but were not able to prevent Kurdish forces from expanding their zone of control along the Khirbat al-Sharafat-Widyan road.

ISIS-linked ‘Amaq’ news agency reported on Tuesday that the US-led coalition airpower accidentally hit YPG forces near Jabar. Nonetheless, no photo or video proofs were provided. YPG-linked media outlets and activists ignored the report.

Syrian government forces repelled an ISIS attack in the area of Deir Ezzor. Last night ISIS units advanced on Syrian army positions in the Rashidiyah Neighborhood but failed to overrun government forces defenses and retreated. Over 20 ISIS terrorists were killed.

Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan said at a press conference on Tuesday that Turkey has evidence that the US-led coalition providing support to terrorist groups in Syria, including ISIS and Kurdish militias linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). “We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos,” he said.

Earlier this week, Turkey blamed the US-led coalition for a lack of air support after the Turkish Army and pro-Turkish militants had repeatedly failed to break ISIS defenses near al-Bab.

Commenting on Ankara’s accusations, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Erdogan’s claims were “ludicrous.” Toner added that Washington is “100 percent behind the defeat and destruction of Daesh [ISIS], even beyond Syria and Iraq.”

A major problem with these statements aiming to show that Washington and Ankara are deeply involved in the battle against ISIS is that they don’t answer to a question: Why had US and Turkish forces been allowing the ISIS oil smuggling business in Syria and Iraq until Russia launched a wide-scale campaign to destroy it in 2015?

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  • mark123456

    AMN is saying 7k, SF says 10k. Well its a huge force thats for sure.

    SAA central command has 4 IDEAL steps here:

    (1) The smallish eastern hama pocket (soha, abu hanaya, uqayrbat and nearest villages as well as retaking huwaysis and the village next to jubb al jarrah that ISIS took last week)

    (2) All the oil fields before palmyra and to its north / west – jihar, jazal, shaer, mahr etc and all the smaller nearby areas and villages / towns

    (3) Palmyra (DUUH)

    (4) A small bufferzone east of palmyra, you can take sukhnah and taybah / kawm to its north but you dont really have to …. but they MUST take arak and t3 before it to build a considerable buffer zone after palmyra that they didnt do last time around!

    • Aquartertoseven

      They outnumber ISIS 2:1 based on the 4000 strong force that took Palmyra, which is less now due to the YPG in the north going for the dam. The SAA and its allies fled from an equal sized force, let’s hope that they’ve got to the guts to stick around when they now outnumber their enemy.

      • mark123456

        Was all ndf and a couple 100 tigers, now its all the tigers and the hawks, hzb and quds plus some RG. The creme de la creme. Notice how the hama front exploded when suheil and his men got there and stalled as soon as they left. This is why the syrian government can only progress in one area at a time outside damascus, sad but true

        • MeMadMax

          Plus there’s politics behind this crap.
          Another thing is: There shouldn’t be an “NDF”. Those people should be trained up and put into the SAA regulars, let the police handle these villages.

          • igybundy

            It is different, Iran found that when you have fanatics fighting you, You need other fanatics working for you. Hence iran takes volunteers who are willing to fight for a belief. Soldiers act in humane ways. They wont fight losing battles. Fanatics fighting for a belief will stay and die. An extreme of this is the suicide bombers, iS has thousands of them on their books, yes they put their name down in a book to be selected. Forces like Tiger and Hezbollah are highly motivated soldiers but they are not fanatics even if they are motivated by their beliefs. NDF was great when they were defending their own villages. other wise they run off. This also goes for the US backed rebels who are basically criminals. They are not good fighters. But fanatics can force them to achieve an objective like the punisher battalions of the soviets or nazi’s. Look how easily they fell apart n e.aleppo once the Russian snipers took out these fanatics. Over 10,000 of them ran off into an area of a few blocks with their families. we hear of bravery where a dozen marines stood their ground and kept thousands of japs at bay.. But really? Did they?? It happened at the alamo..Would be rare for such things elsewhere especially in this day. It is not easy to create this kind of groups without the motivation. But we already see this with th 5th corps the russians are creating in syria.. All volunteer with the best equipment. The motivation is to defeat terrorism and free the country than much smaller protecting your village. Will need time.. and when the truce breaks down and the US or Turkey breaks their word, this corps will be ready. Russia is buying time. US tried to train iraqi’s and afghani’s and that did not work out. There was training but the motivation was just not there. But the same training to rebels created one of the strongest fighting force that almost took over 2 countries called ISIS..

        • Aquartertoseven

          It most certainly was not all NDF, it was the foreign fanatics, the supposedly most staunch fighters! Masdar or Front did an article covering it a week or two ago, from a diary of a Tiger Force fighter present there.

          • mark123456

            Foreign fanatics? You mean the afghan hzb? It was a couple 100 tigers, small intelligence shield detachment, 4 or 5 ndf sections – not elite ones like dara qalamoun – and the afghani fatemiyoun, around 2k of them. Those guys are only around for the iranian salary, not to fight to the death in a losing battle

          • Aquartertoseven

            The Fatemiyoun were supposed to be hardcore, and they ran. 2000 of them.

          • mark123456

            You expect 2000 shias to expect to enjoy being slaughtered on video when all the others ran for it?? You and I should both not judge, lest you have not been there. Even the tigers ran in idlib and the ghaab plains when it got hairy. Also, isil had tons of tanks and artillery because there was no air cover due to sandstorms / bad intel etc. Central command left behind a joke force, whichever way you slice it.

          • Aquartertoseven

            No, these Shias ran first, before ISIS even attacked, just seeing them coming, an equal number of enemies (except ISIS have no air force), it was pathetic.

          • mark123456

            ISIS were at least double, they also had no airforce because of the sandstorm and ISIS were too close by that point. Check the facts and also dont judge.

          • Aquartertoseven

            They were reported as only 4000, equal to the Syrian force. Sandstorm or not, the SAA fled, mostly without a fight, at the mere sight of the enemy.

          • mark123456

            The saa didnt have more than 2k! Isis were closer to 5k. If you read that report so well youd know of the internal problems they had and the heavy lack of heavy weapons they had. The vast majority of that force was ndf or inexperienced / unmotivated fighters, the afghans are certainly not on par with the real hzb. Last but not least, again DO NOT JUDGE if you havent been there and dont know the situation. Stop beating a dead horse. Theyre going to take it back

          • Aquartertoseven

            Yet again, the SAA had 4000 men, as Masdar stated based on the diary of a Tiger Force soldier, and ISIS also numbered 4000. And that diary clearly states that the vast majority of the force was most certainly not NDF. The Afghans were touted to be more staunch than the NDF/SAA.

            Have you been there? I’m judging my information from the word of an elite soldier on the frontline when the city fell, where are you pulling your claims from exactly?

          • mark123456

            I read the same thing. I have not been there, neither have you. Many ppl doubted the validity and accuracy of that report, he had a lot of inconsistencies. You clearly should read it again as you cant count and saa did not number 4k. They had a lack of heavy weapons, you missed that part too? They were taken by surprise. They had a couple hundred tigers, the afghans which you keep thinking are amazing but they are not if you really know your shit and the rest was all ndf and pro gov militias with small arms. Last but not least for the 100th time: Do not judge. Do not beat a dead horse. Palmyra will be taken back soon enough.

    • MeMadMax

      Or, they could just keep going to deir ez zor. Isis doesn’t have considerable forces, they just know how to make a surprise splash and look big.

      It’s the syrian government and the politics that hold the syrian forces back….

  • rawdawgbuffalo

    Good. The Obama Administration is having a hissy fit on this news. http://wsenmw.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-aleppo-misdirection.html

  • Aquartertoseven

    “While local sources confirm the fact of deployment of additional fighters, it’s hard to expect that a major-scale military operation to retake Palmyra can be started in the nearest future. Most likely this will be a goal for 2017.”

    You said the same of the western Aleppo action, and they’re about to start that now.

    • chris chuba

      Perhaps there are issues because of it being winter? Palmyra was taken last March, if there really are 10,000 Syrian troops including the Tigers, they will grind ISIS into powder when they start to move. March is at the tail end of winter.

      I don’t know Syria’s geography, maybe it gets cold and muddy so it cuts down on mobility.

  • spirittoo

    If Washington were truly 100% behind the defeat of daesh, then why won’t they stop signing the checks to pay them?

  • slorter

    This Turkish President! I wouldn’t want him standing behind me!

  • Xanatos

    The US is definitely interested in the defeat of isis in Iraq, where isis serves no regime change purpose.

    But in Syria isis is the biggest tool to leverage for regime change. The US had leveraged this tool to weaken assad. That’s not conjecture, that’s facts on the ground.

    • Actually, the Zionist want to prolong ISIS in Iraq, they want to prevent Iraq from being “unified” and keep them to weak to defend themselves against hostile-Israeli-forces and further prevent them from being able to assist defending Syria or Lebanon or Palestine against invasion.
      As long as ISIS is in Iraq, then Zionist have excuses to keep US forces and Israeli-Mossad in place inside of Iraq and manipulate things their.

    • aurelius

      yes Isis is an important tool to defeat mass murderers Assad and Putin and weaken senior terrorists Hezbolla and Iran. Later on Isis will be dealt with

  • Tim Hadfield

    Syria – there’s no point catching and releasing these terrorists – you are really going to have to kill them, whichever country they come from.
    You need to discourage people from joining ISIS.

  • gmatch

    Let’s hope it is over soon.

  • Bernie Matthews

    Well another important question why is Russia cosying up to Erdogan and Turkey when they themselves claim they have documented evidence including hundreds of passport for ISIS members coming through Turkeys border and ISIS oil supply documents found in bulidings once controlled by ISIS close to the Turkish border.

    • Arthur Smith

      Because there are several factions in Turkey and Erdogan is flexible enough despite his ottomanic ambitions. Majority DOES support him and we must keep relations good enough to prevent turkish sabotage in regions of Russia where they have influence.

      • Bernie Matthews

        That’s just it the majority DONT SUPPORT ERDOGAN because of his Otto `maniac’ ambitions. Europe doesn’t, most of the Middle East don’t other than the countries you mentioned the west doesn’t support Erdogan, democratic elected parliament and free press Erdogan has imprisoned and executed don’t the 20% of the Kurdish population don’t. Most of the minorities in Syria don’t support Erdogan. The gas pipeline and the nuclear deals and the military have always been what it’s about it has nothing to do with peace in the region. And there is no way the Kurds or Iraq will agree to Russia or Turkey getting control of the oil refineries in Syria.

        • Arthur Smith

          I’m talking about population that gave up on joining EU and now just wants to get at least something with neo-ottomanic project, which is acceptable enough for EAEU. Kurds – actually, Russia prefers them over turks, but the best we can do about them is to improve relations with Turkey enough so turks won’t risk ruining them with uncivilized
          policies. Same with Armenia, just scaled up.

          First priority for Russia is to make Turkey reasonable enough to top supporting NATO and others behind destabilizing ME. We can’t stop Turkey’s conflicts for good without cooperation. Then again, Russia cares for our own security first, Armenia and Syria (Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, etc) second and that’s it. We can’t afford interfering seriously, there is not enough resources to bet in this sick game.

          Istanbul will die out? Haha, fuck decadent Europe and it’s tourism, soon there will be New Silk Road and Turkey will get plenty of alternatives. And risks with NPP is nonexistant, as our reactors don’t produce subproducts usable in weapons and have safeguards integrated into construction, which you can’t dismantle before they prevent attempt to destabilize reactor. Also NPPs are guarded like military bases anyway.

          • Bernie Matthews

            Your joking what hell. Russia only cares about Russia. Anybody who thinks Russia’s there to create peace is delusional. There objective is to further militarise there presence in Syria and economic reasons, Oil and gas. Russia doesn’t care a dam about Kurds otherwise they would already have criticise the many well documented atrocities against the Kurds in Turkey and Syria. Palmyra was publicity stunt by Russia for RT State controlled news that’s why they failed and ISIS took it back. The Kurds and the coalition are the only ones that have been affectively fighting ISIS and liberating Syria and Iraq from ISIS. All Russia’s interested in supporting authoritarian dictators that benefit it’s military and economic interests.

            As for Armenia Russia supply’s weapons for both sides in Armenia’s conflict and as for Lebanon Hezbollah supports terrorist activity’s in Syria against Israel and have been supplying rockets and armaments to Palestine for decades which Russia and Iran have supported for decades. Russia is as much a problem in the Middle East as the West and has been for decades.

            Seriously you must be joking about weapons what’s the most popular assault rifle in the world terrorists world wide use and whare are they manufactured? Russia has been supplying terrorism for decades by proxy through Iran and North Korea. RUSSIA ALWAYS HAS BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL PART OF THE TERRORIST PROBLAM AS MUCH AS THE WEST AND THE SUADIS. As long as theirs oil and gas there Russia will always be part of the problem.

            And by the way it was Erdogan himself that said when relations between Russia and Turkey where strained that- “there are over 4000 Russians fighting for ISIS in Syria” and Erdogan should know after all as he is the one in control of the border letting them in,

            There will be no new silk road you must be joking whares it going to come from? More Russian weapons sales by proxy through Iran and North Korea to terrorists.

          • Bernie Matthews

            Erdogan just wants a Turkey Neo Nazi Otto“maniac” controlling and oppressing its people with backward medieval ideology. It’s a Muslim country Russia not going to try change relations between Kurds and the Turkish as Russia oppresses people in it’s own country much like the Islamic faith. Russia oppresses, minority’s, women, religions, migrants, gays. Russia, Turkey and Iran DO NOT GIVE A DAM ABOUT KURDS. The population of Turkey did not want change Erdogan wanted to strengthen his control on the population and he never will get control the population.

            Russia doesn’t care about anyone else but Russia that’s the real reason the Soviet union collapsed and former soviet states where liberated from Russian Authoritarian oppressive control. All Russia cares about is Oil, Gas and further militarisation of Syria. Hungry, Poland Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Ukraine and Georgia are glad to see the back of Russia. And Russia needs to stop supplying weapons to both sides of Armenia’s conflict. And if Russia cares about Armenia so much why don’t they acknowledge the genocide Turkey committed on Armenians-RUSSIA ONLY CARES ABOUT RUSSIA.

            It doesn’t matter how much security a Russian nuclear power station has got it doesn’t take much to hit one with a missile. There is no security in Turkey and there never will be that’s why a night club was hit by a ISIS Terrorist and the Russian foreign minister was killed by one of Turkeys own Police force. ISIS is everywhere and Russia let over 4000 Russian ISIS through Turkey. The only silk road Russia’s going to create is Terrorist weapons by proxy through Iran North Korea and the Turkish border as they have been from the start in bus loads full.

  • Jens Holm

    SAA & Co cant have 10.000 for that. Even so, they must mainly be bad armed and bad guarded recruits or something.

  • Bernie Matthews

    Well another important question why is Russia cosying up to Erdogan and Turkey when they themselves claim they have documented evidence including hundreds of passport for ISIS members coming through Turkeys border and ISIS oil supply documents found in bulidings once controlled by ISIS close to the Turkish border