Syrian War Report – June 7, 2017: Battle For Raqqah Started

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Voiceover by Lance Ramsay

Late on June 6, the US-led coalition once again bombed pro-government forces in the area of At Tanf in southern Syria near the border with Iraq. According to the coalition statement, warplanes targeted a group of over 60 soldiers with battle tanks, technical vehicles and artillery pieces “posing a threat to Coalition and partner forces based at the At Tanf Garrison”. The airstrikes reportedly destroyed two artillery pieces, an anti-aircraft weapon and damaged a battle tank.

This was the second time when the coalition’s airpower bombed government forces in the area and a uncountable time when US-backed proxies preferred to combat the Syrian army and its allies instead of ISIS. The coalition previously struck a pro-government convoy in the area on May 18. It also has two military facilities in the border area: one is near At Tanf and other is near Al-Zquf.

Thus, the new coalition strategy is to use US troops as a buffer in order to prevent Damascus forces from reaching the border.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared a start of the storm of the ISIS-held city of Raqqah. According to the SDF spokesman, Talal Silo, the SDF will storm the city from the northern, western and eastern direction. Thus, the SDF claims that it is going to prevent ISIS terrorists from fleeing to the south have proven to be untrue.

Following the announcement, the SDF captured the Naznah and al-Mashalab areas in the eastern part of Raqqah and attacked the Harqalah area west of it. The remaining ISIS fighters, many of them had been redeployed to Deir Ezzor and Homs provinces, will concentrate their defenses in the center of Raqqah.

The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group has resumed strike missions against ISIS targets from eastern Mediterranean, the US Navy said in a statement at its website on June 6. The Raqqah storm is ongoing amid endless military strikes by the coalition airpower and artillery. The US Special Forces also play an important role in the operation.

The Syrian Army Tiger Forces continued advancing against ISIS south of Maskanah and liberated the villages of Sulayhiyah, Khirbat al-Muftahiyah, Khirbat Muhsin, Khirbat al-Hassan, Khirbat as Sab and Tarfawi. Near the town of Ithriyah, government troops captured the area of Maksar ash Shamali. Summing up these developments, some experts say that the army and its allies may attempt to reach the Ithriyah-Tabqa road south of the SDF-held area.

In the city of Deir Ezzor, government forces have repelled the ISIS advance in the Panorama Roundabout area and stabilized the defense line. However, the situation remains tense.

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  • Attrition47

    Well done the lads in Deir Ezzor.

    • More

      Attrition47
      Which lads ?
      People know the side you are on.
      ISIS !
      IS – Islamic State – IS – Israeli State – ISIS.

  • paul

    Can any one explain the lack of air defenses against usa attacks in Southern
    Syria?

    • Barba_Papa

      The Syrian air defense network no longer exists, and without an integrated network individual batteries that are still manned are basically paper weights. The Russian SAM batteries are only active in Northern Syria, to protect their own installations. The Russians seem reluctant to take on the Americans directly, just as the Americans seem reluctant to do the same with Russia. So Russia bombs America’s proxies, and America huffs and puffs, America bombs Russia’s proxies and Russia huffs and puffs.

      Only delusional die hards think that Russia will take on the American directly, as Russia is playing the long game. And I think Russia is right in this regard. Slowly but surely the tide of the war has changed. East-Aleppo has fallen, Turkey is now more concerned about the Kurds then regime change in Damascus, one after the other the Damascus rebel enclaves are falling. Methinks the Russians are more aiming at relieving Deir Ezzor and meeting the Iraqi army there then securing the southern border. If the SAA can reach Deir Ezzor and the Iraqi army there then all the US gained in Southern Syria is worthless desert.

      • Alex

        quite true

      • paul

        Interesting and thanks. Referring to your closing comments I would like your
        thoughts on the following. Considering the usa actions in Southern
        Syria and their intention to create a buffer zone, do you think that
        the attack by isis on Deir Ezzor is indicative of collusion between
        isis and the usa?

        • Barba_Papa

          I’m not a believer in all the conspiracy theories that the US and Israel are behind ISIS. That’s too much credit for either of them, neither has shown much long term vision, success and planning and a long history of foreign policy disasters of epic proportions.

          I do think both countries are using ISIS as a means to strike against the Assad regime and the Russians. But everybody has been using ISIS to strike at their favorite enemy, even Assad. And using ISIS can take very subtle forms as attacking them on one front and totally letting them do whatever they want on another. Or turning a blind eye to money, recruits and weapons being smuggled to them by others, including socalled US allies. And it would benefit the US immensely if ISIS were to conquer Deir Ezzor, because then the city would be up for grabs by anyone who is the best position to take it first. But actual CIA operatives telling ISIS what to do, no, unless I see actual proof, not opinions and hearsay on the internet, that I don’t buy. I don’t think they would even listen, as ISIS are too much of a bunch of rapid nutters who have their own agenda.

          • paul

            Yes this is along the lines of my own thinking.

          • Manuel Chrut

            Well said about how is US using ISIS. Other techniques might include leaking them some intel that leads to predictable actions or by surreptitiously helping them during a critical moment.

          • More

            Barba_Papa
            The communication system run by IS is supplied by US – UK via Istanbul, Turkey.

            No time to dig it out now, there is an article in the UK Telegraph about this since the early days of the Syrian conflict.

    • Expo Marker

      Back some months ago, the US hit the Ash-Shairat airbase because it was the home of the air defence system. The US strike was intended to destroy the Syrian Arab Air Forces power and its defences in Syria.

    • More

      paul
      “…the lack of air defenses against usa attacks in Southern Syria?…”

      Syrian air defenses are S200 and backward and they are frightened of using any air defence against the US.

      Russia has S300 and S400 but does not use them against as Putin / Lavrov say “Our Partners”.

  • gustavo

    ¿ Battle ? against ¿ who ? must of the ISIS terrorists are already fighting in Syria. Maybe we can say firework playing.

  • Expo Marker

    The development in south Syria shows Trump never valued peace, and would let US Coalition troops die to force regime change, or partition Syria into ethno-religeous states, each fighting for their very survival.

  • Alex Black

    The perfect player to take out al tanf and the terrorist scum that gathered there is iran. There is no need for russian or syrian involvement. pmu assisted by iranian guards can clear the deserts in the south of interlopers. I think the strategy with al tanf is containment while the bulk of the force attempts to make gains towards deir ezzor. with the success in eastern alleppo, there are now multiple ways to press isis in central syria. the saa will likely continuous the strategy that involves multiple,simultaneous coordinated attacks against isis, the fsa and the sdf will like to take advantage of this tactic to seize territory from isis. The US tactic is syria is stupid and will produce no actual results, so there is no point in taking them on directly. If SDF captured too much territory, they will be destroyed in a few month. FSA is living on borrowed time.

    • More

      Alex Black
      Iran operates in slow motion and after its too late.

      To win in Syria Iran needs to send in minimum 200,000 troops, 1000s’ of APCs, Tanks, Artillery, Missile Launchers, etc.

      • Alex Black

        I don’t think so, The US force is very small, largely reliant on air power for cover. Their allies are worthless without the airpower. The Sunni terrorists could be destroyed if Russia simply denied the US airspace. The SDF, would run back asking for mercy the moment the Russians said no more attacking the Syrian people on the syrian soil to their .american partners.’

        • More

          Alex Black
          First your points:
          Air Power:
          Regarding US air power you mention, the US operates with a proper Battleplan, it has a small strike force with the right ratio of airplanes and missiles.

          The US airforce is used to win battles with the right tactics as it does at Al Tanf, one or two planes wiped out the Syrian Military convoy twice.

          IS – (Sunni) Islamic State Terrorists:
          The US coalition is all talk about fighting IS, think why?

          After 75,000++ air sorties by the US, 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.

          Russian Air Power and Protection:
          Since the January 2017, Tillerson – Putin meeting.

          Russia is no longer willing to use its air power to support or defend the Syrian Military against the US, Israel or any “US coalition” attack.

          Russia is also doing the minimum against the SDF or any “IS”, “Moderate” “Rebel” force.

          This is the bottom line:
          Battleplan has to learn from past mistakes, e.g. White South Africa eventually gave up and allowed black rule, White Rhodesia, White South West Africa did the same.

          Mr Putin / Russia is not interested in winning Syria instead wants a cheap war, steady conflict and blocking pockets (Terrorist Bulges) all over Syria to prevent the Saudi – Qatar – Syria – Turkey – EU pipeline.

          Eventually the Terrorist Bulges will break out simultaneous towards Damascus from NW, N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W. and overwhelm the Syrian Military.

          Only a proper Battleplan run by Iran can save Syria otherwise the Syrian Military will collapse from exhaustion as no military can keep fighting for so many years, the same battles, Homs v1 – v2, Palmyra v1 v2, Al Talnf v1 – v2, there are 10’s of examples.

          All comes back to square one as Iran operates in slow motion, insufficient men, insufficient equipment, result no ability to counter strike.

  • Rodney Loder

    What caused US Foreign Policy to adopt all of its strategies in the ME since the success of the Petro Dollar and rapprochement with China both of which would not have been implemented if the US has not spent most its gold reserves in Vietnam is the cowardly capitulation of Japanese and​ German Nationalism to become Vassel Servants of US social and political agenda, since then the US despots figure everyone is the same.
    Certainly the cowardly Kurds are US boot shinners, except for my Salafist Brothers among them who are now on the opposite side of the trenches facing the inevitable defeat of Raqqah, they could relocate to Deir Ezzor and receive weapons and money, but IS will stay an battle for the after life, and will anyone respect them for so doing, only the believers will but there again, that’s all that counts.

    • More

      Rodney Loder
      “…is the cowardly capitulation of Japanese and​ German Nationalism to become Vassel Servants of US social and political agenda,…”

      Forget the war mongering for a few minutes.

      Japan and Germany have already become vassals of the US.

      Apart from being vassals, they are joined together like Siamese triplets, without trade with the US, they would collapse economically and go into a depression.

      US remains all powerful until another country can step in not by words or war mongering but with ability to buy German and Japanese goods that the US can and does.

      • Rodney Loder

        US doesn’t trade except in primary products all subsidised, all US industries are that’s why corporations register in the US to get corporate welfare, there are no exceptions except platform Tech companies and Apple, the US distributers currency and Financial Institution all dependant on military dominance but US doesn’t field an army and now relies only on threats of nuclear annihilation.US hasn’t had a surplus Balance of Trade for over 40 years. Germany Japan and now Russia got sucked into believing that their history was an expression of evil, the reason that they believe that is because the Roman Catholic Church had the telepathic Holy Ghost as a jew Messiah Event which is coming to a conclusion exposing Christians as evil which was it’s purpose tempting the evil doers.

        • More

          Rodney Loder
          Nothing personal, you are writing nonsense.

          • Rodney Loder

            A license to deceive even if give by the proprietor of an establishment doesn’t invalidate the concept of deceit because meaning preceded the inception of meaning, in reality deceit was prior to existence, Eblis was before (p)Adam (The Cow 2 : 38) it’s not wrong to demean what you are to improve your chances, but it is very nonsensical to insist that a subterfuge remain such when the architect of the misrepresentation no longer supports it, all I have to do is turn up in Syria and express telepathic reality, overtly if possible covertly if not, but your right Assad doesn’t seem capable I’m shifting ground gradually to end up in Greater Turkey, and if that doesn’t work, because I have to finish in the Holy Precincts to comply with Scripture, its whoever controls Them is Allah’s decision, I can even get my Australian Pension paid out in KSA. Do you think that they wouldn’t have me?.
            Libya was a similar deal.

    • Rodi Jiko

      what are you talking about liar?cowardly..?you know but can not accept taht the Kurds are the bravest people in the world.(without drugs,captagon going to till death to kafir monsters ,Dais or isis.shinning boot of US much much better than be slave ,be paranoyac and under control of devil like you.mind your words before blame innocent people who has to fight but no other option then war front of them,the Kurds.i am a sharia Kurd and want peace on Earth and live all people freely their life and religion.fck the Boss all for money oil and selling guns,zionist isis is now came to End.they could be succesful if they wouldnt attack to the Bravest people the Kurds. The Kurds in the “Anabasis” are mentioned as “strong peace loving people but strong fighters if provoked.

      • Rodney Loder

        I’m happy for your good impression of Kurds, however I’m not judgmental, Let Allah Decide we all only go to the end of our lives and our role in the Decision ends, so Allah must be using our judgment to effect His decision, that’s what I believe anyway, some say my Brother Baghdadi is paid by Mossad, but he brought Russia into the war October 2015, without that the war would be over and Assad hanged, like Saddam, whatever Syria owes Assad it owes just as much to IS.
        Syrian Kurds want autonomy but fight with the enemy, big mistake.
        US has been my enemy for 48 years when I became a card carrying member of the Australian Communist Party, now defunct, I can be loyal to my memories can’t I?.

  • More

    The Syrian Military (includes its allies) lacks a Battleplan regarding Al Tanf and has zero support from the Russian air group.

    Based on past experience, solid Air Defence cover for the Syrian Military is required when approaching the Al Talf battle zone.

    With effective zero air support support from the Russians and slow motion support from Iran, its better for the Syrian Military not to go near Al Tanf.

  • Jon Mode

    Used issi kil Assad and Russia.