Syrian War Report – January 12, 2018: Militants’ Counter-Attack In Southern Idlib Ends In Disaster

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On January 11, so-called “moderate opposition” groups operating in Idlib declared an official start of the operation to assist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in its effort to counter the ongoing advance of government forces in the area of Abu al-Duhur.

Faylaq al-Sham, Nour al-Din al-Zenki, Jaish al-Nasr, Jaish al-Nukhba, Ahrar al-Sham, the Turkistan Islamic Party, the Free Syrian Army’s 2nd Army were among the group that joined the battle on the side of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Furthermore, Faylaq al-Sham actively used Turkish-supplied military vehicle against government forces.

The militants attacked positions of the Tiger Forces and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) southwest of Abu al-Duhur and event entered a number of the government-held villages, including Astshan, Khuwaya, Sahal, Tell Maraq, Ard az ZurZur and Um Khalakhil. However, by the evening, the militants’ counter-attack had slowed down and they retreated from almost all captured positions.

According to pro-militant sources, HTS and its allies killed over 20 SAA members and captured about 50 others as well as destroyed a BMP armoured vehicle and captured a battle tank belonging to the army.

However, the militants’ temporary success appeared to be a failure when the SAA, backed up by the Russian Aerospace Forces and Iranian-backed militias, attacked HTS’ positions in southern Aleppo and liberated the villages of Eluf, Umm Gharaf, Umm Ghabar, Sabihat, Eitatan and Umm Sanabil west of Khansir and deployed within about 3km from positions of their allies south of the Abu al-Duhur airbase.

Meanwhile, Liwa al-Quds, a well-known pro-government Palestinian militia, has deployed reinforcements to the area south of Abu al-Duhur in order to support the ongoing SAA advance.

In Eastern Ghouta, the SAA and the Special Mission Force (SMF) captured several positions around the police department in the eastern part of Harasta as well as entered seven farms north of Douma. According to opposition sources, Syrian warplanes carried out over 50 airstrikes on positions of Ahrar al-Sham, Faylaq al-Rahman and HTS in Harasta, Irbin and Madira.

Fighting in the Armoured Vehicles Base area is still ongoing.

The de-escalation zones in Idlib and Eastern Ghouta de-facto collapsed as so-called moderate opposition groups had once again failed to separate themselves from the terrorists like HTS.

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  • dicecop

    RIP. But P doesn’t stand for peace here ;D

  • Weldon Cheek

    Destroy them now,theres no excuse,they have shown that all those names are a sham,they are ll the “terrorist forces in syria” and nothing else,now its time to attack with all the force at the disposal of russians ,syrians,iranian and pro gov factions,make this the year we see victory for the Syrian people at last.Force this scum to beg for a ceasfire!

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  • paul ( original )

    It needs to be remembered that Idlib was the province that surrendered
    militants were allowed to move to after they had been defeated in
    other parts of the country. I always felt this just stored up trouble
    for later.

    • freewheelinfranklin543

      Just concentrating the targets. Shooting fish in a barrel.

      • paul ( original )

        Could be. But it looks like a hard fight none the less.

        • Eskandar Black

          I am with you on the idea that letting enemies live for later is dangerous but you ignore the advantage to the SAA of shortened front lines. which allows concentrating jihadists into smaller area for extermination. Also russian weapons are better suited for killing large quantities of jihadists, which is why their counter attack is so stupid.

    • Rodger

      Put 2 terrorist groups in a place together and pretty soon they fight themselves.

  • Rob

    These all terrorist groups are supported by Salman, Erdogan, Trump, Netanyahu. If they don’t surrender then send them to hell.

    • Astar Roth

      Not really by the Turkey, maybe they say so, amd declarative way, but in reality simply – no.

      • Gregory Casey

        Using Military equipment supplied by Turkey

        • Astar Roth

          Not any more, not at all. You’re simply wrong. They don’t like that idea. Tansu Çiler days are long gone. Even Suleiman Demirel wouldn’t. Turks doesn’t like wahabies, Nusra, Isil and on top of all that they really don’t like SDF.
          All combined they’re with Syria, and lately as far as I see with Yemen.

          • Gregory Casey

            If Turkey is “with” Syria then it’s best they come out and say so ‘cos they haven’t advised Damascus of their intentions yet apparently despite their invasion of Syrian Sovereign Territory and today’s announcement (29 January 2018) that they will continue now to push eastwards against Kurdish Forces and SDF.

      • Bob

        Turkistan Islamic Party are Turkish sponsored militant proxies in Idlib – and Erdogan has been crying wolf in media about them being attacked by SAA in last week. Despite the clear fact that Turkistan Islamic Party attacked the SAA as part of an Al-Nusra/HTS coalition in southern Idlib. Erdogan claims SAA are violating the deescalation zone – ignoring the fact that Al-Nusra/HTS are excluded from deescalation agreements and any Turkistan Islamic Party coalition with Al-Nusra/HTS invalidates terms of prior agreements.

  • evader2014

    Exterminate the jihadi terrorists.

  • Astar Roth

    They’re dying just like rats there in Idlib, close to airbase. Now, not that close anymore. I wonder how they manage to crawl there from Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan, but this way they’re just loosing man power and Syrians have much more Aerial bombs then they have men. Which means, they won’t start killing scum until total eradication. Their loses are already catastrophic.

  • 59LesPaul

    Yep, they are all funded, trained, equipped and directed by the US and its friends. As each day goes on more and more people are starting to see through the US/UK/Israel lies.

  • disqusgck

    The FSA terrorists are no longer being funded by the US. Obama gave them a lot of support, but Trump has stopped that and only supports the (mostly) Kurdish SDF. The “moderate” islamic terrorists are still gettting support from some countries, but not anywhere near as much as when Obama was helping them.

  • MichaH

    Why it is called a disaster, as long as no high casualties suffered by the militants in numbers are reported, it sounds like a well worked out operation…

  • Hide Behind

    To the individual grunt on ground the
    perception of combat is what they see. Not the overall war.
    I would think that the Syrians being attacked would say yesterday was a disaster for themselves.
    In other words they saved themselves from a disastrous defeat, while losing many comrades.

  • Hide Behind

    I watch as the colors shift upon the maps, ; I listen to cheers as our color moves into what used to lands of their color. Then come the as summits when our color shrinks in size.
    The colors, no matter which, do not people see beyond them?
    Do not they realize, that with each color shift men women and child have died.

  • Attrition47

    Well done them Syrians.