Syrian War Report – January 11, 2018: Syrian Army Launches Final Push To Capture Abu al-Duhur

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On January 11, the Tiger Forces, the Syrian Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) launched a final push to recapture the strategic Abu al-Duhur Airbase from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in southern Idlib.

Government forces reached the airbase on January 10 after capturing the villages of al-Baiyaiyah, al-Dabshiyah, Zafr Sagheer, Zafr Kabeer, Bayaa Kabeera, Bayaa Sagheera, Um jorah, al-Buwyti, Rasm Ayed and Um Jareen. Since then, intense fighting has been ongoing in the area.

Separately, the SAA, the NDF and Liwa Fatemiyoun liberated Ramla, Muzayila, Nawara, Rasm Sheikh and Tall Sabha. Should government troops capture Mazyunah or Qital, they will cut off HTS forces in northeastern Hama from their counterparts in Idlib. In northeastern Hama itself, government forces already captured the village of Umm Myal.

Reports also appeared that HTS started withdrawing its forces from Hass Mount northeast of the Abu Duhur airbase preparing for an inevitable collapse of its defense there.

However, this still has to be confirmed.

The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq claimed on January 10 that ISIS members attacked the SAA south of the Abu al-Duhur Airbase, killed 3 SAA members and captured 5 others. ISIS used the collapse of HTS to expand own influence in the area. According to pro-opposition sources, the total number of ISIS fighters operating there had recently grown to 900. Most of them are defectors from HTS and other groups of the so-called moderate opposition.

Over 80 members  of Ahrar al-Sham, Faylaq al-Rahman and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham have been killed and over 100 others have been injured in clashes near the Armoured Vehicles Base in Eastern Ghouta over the last few days, according to an officer of the SAA’s 4th Armoured Division contacted by SouthFront. However, fighting is still ongoing in the base area and government forces will need to contribute more efforts to secure it.

According to opposition sources, the Syrian Air Force carried out over 353 airstrikes on the militants’ positions in the last 11 days.

Jaish al-Islam also attacked positions of the SAA near the village of Ayn Zuriqa in Eastern Ghouta unofficially assisting to the Ahrar al-Sham-led attack on the Armoured Vehicles Base.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) released 400 former ISIS fighters a few weeks only after they had been captured, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on January 10. The SHOR added that 120 released ISIS members then joined the ranks of the SDF. Previously, the SDF released 75 former ISIS members on May 8, 2017 and 86 on November 8, 2017.

On December 16, the Russian military said that the US-led coalition uses the al-Hasakah refugee camp as a base for training former members of ISIS, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other militant groups.

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  • Valery Grigoryev

    I’ve anticipated that Daesh will attack to the advancing SAA right flank. And, unfortunately, it is…

    • Thegr8rambino

      its a small pocket and there are only so many daeshbags in there, shouldnt be too hard to finish it off

      • Attrition47

        It’s more efficient to fight them when they’re moving than when dug in.

        • Thegr8rambino

          but we dont want them to move and expand either

          • Attrition47

            This lot are remnants.

          • Thegr8rambino

            Soon to be dead remnants hopefully :)))

      • Valery Grigoryev

        Some HTS people are transforming to Daesh. The same shit. No difference really. Otherwise, how this black spot may arise on Idlib province map?

        • Thegr8rambino

          well i dont think HTS is as funded or organized as daesh was, but yes they are still rats, but why would they transform to daesh?

          • Valery Grigoryev

            Daesh main forces were far from Idlib. Some small combatment (few hundreds) broke through from Al-Quariatain. Then the sphere of their influence in Idlib began to rise more and more. As initially there were just a few Daesh men in Idlib, it looks like some HTS men defected and joined Daesh.

          • Thegr8rambino

            well, thats less HTS for SAA to deal with which is good i guess

  • Rob

    ISIS have been recommissioned as SDF

    Just by changing the label from ISIS to SDF will not make any difference. Trump cannot deceive Syrian government and Syrian nation. Syrian government already know this.

  • Rob

    ISIS and SDF both are similar conspiracies against Syrian land and Syrian nation.

  • Expo Marker

    Russia has been quite direct recently on the fate of the SDF, and is now cutting the once warm ties with the group.

    • Attrition47

      Let’s hope that the Kurds aren’t historically illiterate and have made their minds up about which way they’ll jump when the Washington Barbarians rat on them.

  • leon mc pilibin

    Sick to the teeth with Zionist scumbags polluting the airwaves with their fake war on terror bullshit.(((They)))are the Terrorists.

  • Nigel Maund

    The SDF is the new ISIS courtesy of duplicitous USA support, financing, traning and massive equipping to restart the Syrian conflict. Any claims that the USA does not support terrorism in its worst form is both a lie and a sick joke.

    • TS

      I really think the a the ‘objective’ is to get all these SDF / ISIS fighters killed, because there ‘ain’t no saving them’, that is all they can really do.

      • Nigel Maund

        Totally agree TS!

    • Astar Roth

      They simply can’t do that, that’s impossible. They’ve already losted their main crushing force, which are, wahabies. No Kurds will fight like maniacs for American interests.
      1. They’re not wahabies;
      2. They don’t have that much strenght;
      3. Turkey is VERY MUCH AGAINST THAT.
      Etc.

  • Astar Roth

    They’re dying like rats in Ghouta.