Syrian War Report – June 12, 2017: Army Reaches Border With Iraq, Strategic Implications

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On June 9, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allied militia groups reached the border with Iraq in the area north of the US-led coalition garrisons at the village of At Tanf and Al Zquf. This advance dramatically changed the strategic situation in southeastern Syria and de-facto allowed the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance to win the race for the border with Iraq.

The key goal of the US-led coalition actions near the border was to prevent the SAA from linking up with the allied Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) operating in Iraq and to build a buffer zone controlled by Western-backed militant groups between the two countries.

The PMU is a major power in Iraq and an official part of the Iraqi Armed Forces. It’s currently conducting a large-scale operating against ISIS terrorists at own side of the border. The June 9 advance destroyed the US-led coalition’s plans.

The government forces deployed north of At Tanf also prevent US-backed proxies from advancing on the ISIS-held border town of al-Bukamal. While the US-led forces in southeastern Syria have never had enough manpower and capabilities to do this, the declared aim to retake al-Bukamal from ISIS was an important part of the US propaganda campaign to justify its illegal presence in the area.

Now, government forces in southeastern Syrian forces will likely coordinate its efforts with the PMU in order to clear the Syrian-Iraqi border area and to move to al-Bukamal and Qaim. Iran will also be able to incease supplies to the Syrian government via a land route. Some PMU member groups are already participating in the operations in Syria on the side of the SAA. Now, this number will likely be increased.

Meanwhile, Jordanian border guards clashed with a convoy consisting 9 cars and 2 motorcycles trying to enter Jordanian territory from the direction of At Tanf. The border guards destroyed 2 cars and 2 motorcycles. The rest of the vehicles retreated. At Tanf town is under a full control of the US-led Coalition and militant groups affiliated with the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The people who attempted to infiltrate into Jordanian territory may be a group of FSA who decided to withdraw to Jordan for an unknown reason. It is almost impossible for anyone to move in Al Tanaf without the US-led coalition approval. However, it is also possible that these people were local smugglers.

Following a success at the border with Iraq, the SAA and its allies intensified operations against ISIS in the countryside of Palmyra, retook some points east of the city and attacked ISIS in the Arak area. The mid-term goal of the government operation is to capture the strategic Sukhna town located on the road to Deir Ezzor. The SAA, Hezbollah and other groups had sent reinforcements to the area in order to speed up the operation.

According to reports, ISIS had deployed a large force for another attempt to retake Deir Ezzor from the SAA. The government forces push to Sukhna may be a response to this situation.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed up by the US-led coalition’s airpower and artillery units, are storming the ISIS-held city of Raqqah. A fierce fighting is ongoing in the 17th Division Base, Husaywah and the industrial district near Mashlab.

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  • Jesus

    SAA and allies along with PMU have sealed US and their FSA proxies in a static position, unable to “link/fight” ISIS in the east. They have become useless.

    • PZIVJ

      This was the US/FSA stated purpose for being in Syria. But there has been no reports of activity against ISUS for weeks now. No movement against T2, etc. Only activity reported against SAA. FSA even declared op Desert Volcano against SAA !!

      • Jesus

        The US with their trained proxies are supposed to fight ISIS, instead they harassed SAA and allies on their southern flank, (supposedly delaying the concentration of forces being gathered around Palmyra for an offensive directed at Sukhana) unilaterally declaring a deconfliction zone of about 50 km from Al Tanf.
        They also took ISIS leaders among their ranks making collusion with ISIS a real issue.
        American strategic thinking did not consider Al Tanf being outflanked allowing SAA and allies to link with PMU, and cutting off any possible eastern approach in Deir Ezzor province.

        • FlorianGeyer

          American Military Strategic thinking is usually limited to ‘Whats for dinner and I want fries with that ‘.

          • Jesus

            American generals are mere politicians and yes men (especially under Obama and his social engineering of the armed forces), by no means they are warriors with strategic grasp.
            Why think and devise long term strategy, when goals are short term and against third rate countries?

          • FlorianGeyer

            The US has been the fat bully boy on the street corner for such a long time now that reality is a great shock when someone with courage says NO.
            US politicians in the main are imbecilic and US Generals are as you say, Politicians in Uniform.

            Even the President has the lexicon of a 5 year old and I would think that his wealth has been made from bullying.

          • Attrition47

            Warriors don’t have strategy, they are mere mercenaries; that the US army uses such terms demonstrates its moral deliquescence.

          • Jesus

            Alexander the Great, Hannibal …….Guderian, Montgomery were warriors that had an independent mind to think from a strategic standpoint and not think being politically correct.

          • Thegr8rambino

            I caught a movie on TV called “coach carter” the other night it was very interesting,Samuel l Jackson comes and trains a losing high school basketball team to victory, it reminds me of how far the SAA has come since the beginning of the year :))

          • FlorianGeyer

            I agree. Leadership of armies during long periods of relative peace has always been dominated by a majority staff officers who engage in pomp and puffery ,whilst their soldiers train to fight long past battles when they are not marching up and down in parades . Essentially such military organisations become unfit for combat in an ever changing world.

            All armies are subject to this problem at various stages of their existence.

          • Thegr8rambino

            Yes very well said :))

      • adam77

        Good point. The purpose for the American people, like me, to support the Al Tanf operation was to run supplies through al Tanf in order to fight ISIS near T2, but you have good evidence there that the deep state’s purpose was not the same as the American people’s. Also, We had a enough time to run supplies East through Al Tanf, and could always have airlifted them after losing al Tanf since we Americans have lot’s of airlift as long as SAA doesn’t shoot them down. Plus we still have the Northern SDF front on which to fight ISIS; which is even better because SDF territory has abortion rights while FSA doesn’t; so no biggie. I do wonder why no FSA forces were left East of the breakthrough to fight ISIS with air supplies; maybe more evidence of deepstate priorities.

        • Thegr8rambino

          Abortion rights? Are you that Jonathan Cohen guy?

          • More

            Thegr8rambino
            “…Abortion rights?…”

            There’s only one guy unless he got cloned after birth, LoL:))

    • FlorianGeyer

      The US and proxies have always been useless :)

  • gustavo

    Congratulation to Syria-Russia-Iran-Hezbolah for brave and intelligent movement. Hope you continue in the same way.

  • Miguel Redondo

    Prominent Iranian general makes surprise visit to Iraqi-Syrian border
    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/prominent-iranian-general-makes-surprise-visit-iraqi-syrian-border/

    Please General Qassem Suleimani , be careful with your personal movements. The US are so desperate that someone can think about the “Yamamoto” treatment.

    • Ronald

      He is like Rommel , in the field , looking at the real situations on the ground .
      We are with you , Suleimani , No Fear , Godspeed .

  • Germinator

    Sehr gut! Heil Assad!

    • Wahid Algiers

      Heil SAA and all their allies and special ops. Then Heil Assad.

  • Stephen

    Trump army and their proxies FSA terrorists are their to stop SAA and their allies from anti ISIS terrorists operation. They just their to attack SAA and their allies and stop SAA from receiving reinforcement from Iraqi army PMU and from Iran.

    • More

      Stephen
      “…Trump army…”

      The Trump army is the “Terror Axis”.

      After 75,000++ air sorties by the US led “Terror Axis”, UK, France, NATO, Turks, Arabs, etc., with precision guided missiles, IS are still in place, trained, armed and logistics supplied from the “Terror Axis” countries.

      • Stephen

        Because ISIS terrorists are CIA proxies like Ezrahel.

  • Nigel Maund

    Another good summary wrap up! Good to see the SAA has linked up with the PMU and outflanked the US and their terrorist proxies little scheme of sealing the border. It will now be intersting to see how the situation now plays out. One may expect a US engineered counter attack against the SAA.

  • Alex Black

    Good summary of the weekend festivities. For the time being, I see SAA operations being directed at central Syria, with the goal of disabling ISIS mobility while making progress to Deir Ezzor and to capture the west bank of the Euphrates. I can not see a scenario where the SAA will spend substantial resources on FSA area in the southeast. The US will likely speed up operations in Raqqa and continue “liberating” parts of Syria on behalf of SDF/Saudis.

  • Stephen

    Syria should have to use Battle rifle for example G3 or PKM. Assault rifles does not work in battle field.

    • Thegr8rambino

      They need good scopes too, I see videos where they seem so far away from the enemy, I wonder how are they scoring any hits?

      • More

        Thegr8rambino
        “…how are they scoring any hits?…”

        Due to lack of air strike force and lack of support from Russian Air Group, most of the terrorists get away, make an escape, usually unharmed which is why the same battles are fought over and over.

      • Stephen

        Most of battle rifles supplied with their target finding telescope. The PKM is a Russia made general purpose rifle which can be used as a battle rifle as well as snipper rifle. Their advance version is available with Radar and optical pod.

        • testera

          PKM is general purpose machine gun and can not be “used as a battle rifle as well as snipper rifle”. If you are going to be an armchair general, at least learn basic concepts first.

          • Stephen

            PKM has used in Vietnam war and were founded the best rifle in the World. AK-47 is effective in close proximity for example for clearing ware houses, super markets but for clearing foot ball stadiums or far distance areas from terrorists then PKM is effective.

          • testera

            Do you even speak english? Machine gun is not a rifle.

          • Stephen

            I don’t know what is machine gun. I just know automatic and semi automatic rifles. Can you explain me what is machine gun?

          • testera

            You also know battle rifles and assault rifles, so you have had some contact with english language military terminology.
            If english is not your native language, you need to keep in mind that there are differences in military terminology between languages. Wikipedia is your friend.

            My point is, if you don’t have some expertise in the area, please don’t give battle advices to Syrian army.
            In this video alone there is a bunch of PKMs, heavy machine guns (both 12.7 and 14.5 mm), autocannons (23 mm), and even an anti-materiel rifle (at 00:28). I didn’t see any SVDs, but they are also omnipresent there. All of those weapons are effective at long range, and the last thing they need are battle rifles.

          • Stephen

            Thank you very much. You are a good guy.

          • testera

            (General-purpose) machine guns: PKM, M60, FN MAG, MG 3, MG 42…
            Heavy machine guns: DShK, Kord, M2 Browning, KPV…
            Light machine guns: RPK, RPD, FN Minimi…
            Submachine guns: MP5, MP 40, PPSh-41, Uzi, Thompson…
            Battle rifles: FN FAL, G3…
            Assault rifles: AKM, M16, FAMAS, StG 44…

      • testera

        They are mainly firing to suppres the enemy. For scoring hits there is SVD.

  • Kell

    Ha greater Israel just became less “great”.

  • Thegr8rambino

    I was reading the history of the Syrian civil war on Wikipedia and it just makes Assad sound evil, cracking down on protesters. They fail to mention how the FSA and other groups are essentially just terrorists. It was sickening to read! I wish I never read it! Oh well :// GO SAA!!!

    • More

      Thegr8rambino
      Depending on the Wiki article, you can amend it or dispute statements assuming you have credible facts.

      Examples:

      Syrian Regime word has to be substituted by Government.

      Friday worshipers were being shot by (Qatar death squad) snipers to cause panic which led to rioting.

      Pay for play unlawful Protests which had thugs banging their chest as well as drums whilst armed with Machine Guns and Rocket Propelled Guns in a group that had little children sitting on their fathers shoulders. Which parent in their right mind has little children taking part in such protests.

    • testera

      Wikipedia is full of stuff like that. Correcting small or less relevant things is easy, but trying to correct controversial/political stuff is usually blocked by someone “with more editing power”.

  • More

    From this article:
    “…At Tanf town is under a full control of the US-led Coalition and militant groups affiliated with the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA)…”

    Al Tanf still remains under US led 666 Terrorist control.

    The other gains are good work by the Syrian Military(allies excluding Russians) despite lack of air defence support from the Russians.

    This gain has to be held in a 777 Grid formation, groups of 7 Syrian Military every 0.7 Km in rows of 7 with solid Syrian Air Defence to prevent effective air strikes by the “Terror Axis” countries led by the US.

  • John Marks

    To further “assist” with the expulsion of the US from Syria, it may help to offer the Yanks a face-saving procedure: this is what currently seems most important to Washington.It also reduces the risk of American “mistakes” such as bombing Syrians instead of ISIS.
    Russia could offer a friendly “de-escalation”: Americans evacuate al-Tanf and al-Zuqf in exchange for Syria offering the jihadis there a green bus . . . to go back to Saudi Arabia, Idlib or wherever.

    • FlorianGeyer

      I would demand that the US accepts their terror proxies to be transported to the CIA HQ in Langley where they can be assimilated into life in the ‘Indispensable and Exceptional Nation’ :)