Syrian War Report – January 17, 2018: ISIS And HTS Unite Efforts Against Syrian Army In Eastern Idlib

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On January 16, government forces recaptured 8 villages from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and other militant groups in southern Aleppo and southeastern Idlib.

Northeast of the Abu al-Duhur airbase, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies restored control over Marhamiyah, Uwaynat Kabirah, Mash and Tal Mash. Meanwhile, the Tiger Forces regained Tal Maraq, Tal Jaduyah, Saloumiyah and Sham Hawa from militants southwest of Abu al-Duhur. In this way, the SAA repelled a major part of the HTS attacks and was able to stabilize the frontline there.

However, overnight on January 17, ISIS units attacked SAA positions south of Abu al-Duhur from the eastern direction aiming to reach the key village of Sinjar. Anti-government sources even claimed that ISIS had been able to capture some points from the SAA, but these claims have not yet beeen confirmed by any photo or video evidence.

HTS and ISIS are de-facto coordinating their efforts against government troops in the area.

The US does not support the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin and the area was not a part of US-led coalition operations against ISIS, the spokesman of the US-led coalition Col. Ryan Dillon said in a written statement to the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu on January 16.

“We are not operating in Afrin. We are supporting our partners in defeating remaining ISIS pockets along the Middle Euphrates River Valley, specifically in areas north of Abu Kamal, on the eastern side of the Euphrates River,” he said. “There is no train-advise and assist program going [on] in Afrin.”

Meanwhile, Turkey continued deploying troops and equipment, including battle tanks and artillery pieces, near the area of Afrin. A video of I-Hawk medium-range surface-to-air missiles deployed to the Kirikhan and Yayladagı provinces of Hatay is also circulating online.
Pro-Turkish media speculate that the Turkish military had already designated 149 targets in Afrin that will be eliminated by a massive strike when Ankara decides to start its widely promoted anti-YPG operation. Following air and artillery strikes, the Turkish army and its proxies will enter the area aiming to eliminate the remaining positions of Kurdish militias.

Separately, Ankara continued its diplomatic campaign on the issue. After meeting with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson in Vancouver, Canada, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that “Turkey’s precautions against the YPG/PKK cannot only be limited to Afrin. There is also Manbij and the area east of the Euphrates River.” He also emphasized that the US plan to establish a border guard composed of US-backed, Kurdish-dominated forces in northwest Syria “irreversibly harms US-Turkey ties”.

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  • Jonathan Cohen

    ABORTION RIGHTS IN AFRIN!

    • leon mc pilibin

      Fuck off you satanic fake Jew scumbag.

      • Alejandro Bonifacio

        calm down, he is just a person who needs attention :D

    • northerntruthseeker .

      Only a sicko Jewish scumbag would say this type of comment…

  • Promitheas Apollonious

    Finally the turks will stop farting and go in, for the ride of their lives, or not. The question is can after they go in, get out of it? Or they must be kicked out.

    • Barba_Papa

      Until then Turks start massing an actual army, as in the tens of thousands, instead of a few tanks here, a few dozen troops there, I doubt that any invasion of Afrin is going to happen. The Turkish army is up the shitter thanks to Erdogan’s purges and they either need a Zhukov, who can rebuild the Turkish army under duress, or massive overwhelming numbers to bluntly steamroller the Afrin Kurds into submission.

      • Promitheas Apollonious

        the turks are the worst fighters in the world can only function if they are 100 against one and this I know personally as we fight against them. And another thing in their majority they scare shitless fighting at night so they know what awaits them.

        Farting is easy same as shelling a place. Same as NATO did and doing every where they go against no combatants. Facing an army that can actually fight back is not something they can do.

        • Solomon Krupacek

          the turks are the worst fighters in the world

          interestig, but ellada troops were kicked in ass several times :))

      • CyricRenner

        Good point Barba. I completely overlooked the great purge. The morale of the armed forces must be at all time low.

  • telemetrie

    Well, as I said 2 days ago, SAA apparently has not enough strength and technology edge to finish encirclement of ISIS forces in the Idlib. It is a pity that Russians withdrew prematurely from Syria. I’m convinced if Russia decided to stay it wouldn’t happen.
    Now it can take couple of weeks of heavy clashes instead of rapid surprising advance and more and more ISIS fighters can enter the area.
    As for as Erdogan, he is fighting his own war against Kurds – YPG terrorists and he will not help SAA against ISIS.
    In long term perspective Erdogan is an enemy of Assad regime, once he eliminates Kurds on the south border of Turkey. I’m sure he will try to grab land from Syria and create buffer zone along his own borders.

    • Wegan

      Turkey has no plan in staying in Syria. They want a friendly muslim brotherhood (considered a terrorist organization in Egypt ) puppet to serve them and Qatar.
      It’s just the Kurds might be humiliating the Turks in a fight. The Turks were never tested in the Battlefield.
      Syria must stay in one piece and in peace for the middle east to stabilize. So no federation or whatsoever. ONE PIECE.

      • Astar Roth

        That’s right, but Turkey doesn’t like idea of staying in Syria and really hates Muslim brotherhood. They rather choose close ties with Iran. They’ve already cut ties with Pakistan shittheads. Why? Because they’re simply american servants.

      • Hide Behind

        Actually one could say, It has been awhile since Turkish troops took part in combat operstions.
        Before last Iraq invasion US flew out of Turkish military air strips to cover the no fly zones, but with restrictions imposed by their Turkish host.
        Those being when Turkey wanted to launch their own airpcraft to bomb and strafe against their ememies of Kurd’s hiding in Iraq.
        Turkish spec ops used to get firing practice against anything that moved, later to check if it was a Kird or not.
        Turks also had armored infantry all inside of Iraq lands along their borders, all signal marked so US would not practice strafng and bombing them, by thinking it was Iraqi going to birthday and wedding parties.

    • gustavo

      I just wonder…Why did Russia take this stupid decision ? Does anybody can understand this ?

      • Jens Holm

        Thats no stupid decission. Assad and Damaskus is no commanders of the Russian forces and they have different agendas.

        It has been like that even fro´m before they arrived. They secure Assads being in power and by that secure their own base rights as well as they now has made their harbour much better.

        An other important matter is almost fulfilled as well. They have ISIS infections themselves. Now the main area for ISIS can be handled by the locals.

        I do understand it. Russian also have told, they now can come back fast if needed. So Russia are limited friends for SAA as well as we se USA are for SDF`s. They give, what they think is needed based on own needs.

      • telemetrie

        I have 2 theories.
        1. Putin is focused on presidental elections and don’t want negative PR campaign including dead russian solders in body bags returning from Syria
        2. Putin don’t want escalate conflict with the hope that he can make some “political deal” with the USA about post-war Syria.
        It is completely wrong idea as we already know. Trump already ordered Kurd militia transfer to “border protection” unit – they want to keep east bank of Euphrate forever (as a new Israel territory). And by the way, Trump started again “Assad must go” rhetoric.

        But (sorry about that) Putin is very naive regarding deals with West.
        West can break 1000 promises but Putin is eager to make another “deal” in the hope that this time West will keep the word. Somebody consider this as a sign of strength, somebody consider it a weakness. As for as me, I have not opinion. I hope Putin knows what he is doing and has some backup plan based on information I don’t know and plays his chest duel well. But in short time perspective it doesn’t make any sense.

      • Feudalism Victory

        Uh cause Russia wanted to kill terrorists in Syria and not in Russia. Russia isn’t a slave to Syrian needs just because Russia has more power at its disposal. That kind of socialistic thought is only used to win elections.

    • Justin

      I think people have too many emotions when it comes to turkey! there is no such thing as allies, only common interests!
      I am absolutely certain that Syria and Turkey who were both involved in Astana talks agree that the SDF (Kurds) are the major enemy here because they are a proxy of Israel and the USA. They have taken land and resources. they have control of the table damn and also Syria’s major energy fields1 although land locked by Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria, it is greatly within turkey and Syria’s interests to address the Kurdish problem! Assad is no longer an issue to turkey who in the beginning were willing to oust Assad so that they may host pipelines from Qatar. Now they will be hosting pipelines from russia! But if the US and Israel have it their way, The Kurdish pockets will join up and fight onwards towards the Mediterranean Sea. This will make Turkey obsolete!It will only ensure energy trade in US dollars which secures the Petro dollar and it will also be a milestone in Israels ambitions!
      The Kurds are a huge threat to Turkey!
      One way turkey can control this situation is to come to an agreement with Assad. Turkey will attack Afrin pocket but Assad will be against it officially, but unofficially we can presume the Afrin pocket will become apart of turkey! this means Kurds in Afrin Syria are no longer a threat to turkey because they become a part of turkey! This would have been an agreement made so that turkey closed its borders to HTS.
      Turkey will also eventually attack Manbij and this will be aided by Iran and Syria who will attack Raqqa. This will spread out Kurdish forces who will be fighting on multiple fronts! There is nothing the USA can do if / when Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria do this! Because turkey is very important to NATO (which is why they tried to take out Assad in the first place). With Russia acting as a sheep dog what can the USA and Israel do when the countries who contain Kurds have labelled them terrorists and have them land locked! U cant just fly in equipment for them whilst being on radar lock to Turkish air defences (which could end up being S-400’s). turkey will give the ultimatum to the USA! Choose…… Kurds or turkey! It will be that simple!
      This is why Syria needs turkey and why can be sure land will be forfeited for this! Idlib plus 30km from turkey’s border! Al-Bab, Manbij, Afrin and perhaps 30km in from Syria’s north west! Why? Because this is where the Kurdish population of Syria was pre-war! Turkey will take this land so it can at least contain these Kurdish forces and stop them from arming the PKK and the PYJ.
      Common interests dictate what happens in this war! What benefits Syria and What benefits Turkey! All these nations benefit if they cooperate! This is why the Astana talks took place without he USA!
      dont hate on turkey is u want the SDF / Kurdish problem to go way because turkey is ESSENTIAL for this! Take a deep breathe and thank god Syria has the upper hand again and the zionist forces lost!

      • DenLilleAbe

        You have not taken into consideration, that there is only a people called Kurds, they are not in any way a coherent nation, state or have a unified history. They are a confusing lot of tribes , alignments, alliances , a totally confusing mess. Rojava is the largest relatively homogeneous area the Kurds control

        • Justin

          Kurs on t their own have NEVEr been a threat! But when u include the USA, Israel and Europe backing them, well one MUST consider them a threat! Turkey certainly does! So why on earth do u think it all comes down to Kurds only? Why would anyone be scared of Kurds if they were only on their own!
          Kurds are canon fodder and u know that! They are a proxy! So dont try to sound smart! You know this is all about the USA and Israel. why do u ignore the elephant in the room?
          Talk to me with common sense please and dont make assumptions that the Kurds are not a threat! Clearly they are, they have taken over half of syria!

    • Justin

      This is what turkey is afraid of! Kurds having Iraq’s huge oil fields, Syria’s oil fields and Irans. The pipelines transiting from Azerbaijan to the Mediterranean through turkey would all become apart of Kurdistan if this nation were to be created! It would decimate turkey, Iraq, Iran and syria. It would need a huge amount of oil and gas into Europe and over take the Russian market. It would be a massive game changer! It would mean complete and total hegemony for the US / Israel Zionist regimes. It means US dollar locked in as the Petro dollar and reserve currency! It means the ability to print wealth and ignore debt! it means a massive war machine ruling over the world and controlled by you know who! The MF’n Jews!
      So u need to pray that turkey does what it needs to do against the Kurds! Because the Kurds rant Kurds, they are Proxies for the Israel.
      If they join the 2 Kurdish pockets in Syria they will also push turkey’s Kurds to instigate rebellion and fight for land that will create a route to the Mediterranean! Once that happens, its good night sweet heart! Because its means the Jews won!
      We need to stop THIS from happening!

    • Justin
      • DenLilleAbe

        I can assure you that will not happen ever, not even if Hell freezes over. AL and I mean all in the region would stop that. And Russia and the US too.

        • Justin

          its the plan! Yes it would cause ww3 perhaps! But what makes u think this isnt the goal? Why do u think the US and Israel is backing the Kurds huh? for fun? No!
          They are there for their own interests! Those interest are:
          energy fields (oil and gas)
          Energy transit routes
          Energy markets (Europe)
          Ensuring trade in US dollars (Petro dollar)
          Ensuring reserve currency status (enables them to print wealth)
          Hegemony (control all of the above and have no enemies who can threaten them)
          This is the game!

          Im sorry I do not respect your comments because they seem very naive!

    • Justin
  • Astar Roth

    Now after so many years Germans can see their wepon in action. Leopard tanks and etc.

    • Jens Holm

      Many countries should be proud having no need of weapons like that for many years. If You take western europe, we say by profit by taking the peace dividend.

  • CyricRenner

    How much of their forces did Russia withdrawal? I have taken these past drawn down statements with a grain of salt as nothing has come of them. It does seem odd to withdrawal now with complete liberation so close. I don’t pretend to understand what goes on in the minds of Putin and the Kremlin, but I agree the SDF is a big problem. It is one that has to be confronted now or later. I agree that Russia and the SAA hopes Turkey will do the heavy lifting for them, but to put one’s faith in Turkey seem dubious at best. The few incursions the Turkish military has made into Syria has not made for a very impressive performance. Perhaps it is the American/Israeli plan to suck Erdogan into to major engagement whilst they plan another coup at home.