Syrian War Report – March 15, 2017: Clashes With ISIS Near Raqqah And Palmyra

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The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), predominately consisting of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), have been advancing along the Euphrates River east of the ISIS stronghold of Raqqah, recapturing Khass Hibal and the nearby grain silos.

This advance allowed the SDF to deploy closer to Judayat Khabour, Hamad Assaf and Al Kulayb from which Kurdish forces had retreated earlier this month. SDF units have to retake these villages as well as the areas near Hamrat Balasim and Hamrat Nasir in order to isolate Raqqah from the eastern direction. However, even in this case Raqqah will be isolated only from the one side of the river. Thus, the SDF will need to cut across the Euphrates and to reach Raqqah outskirts.

Considering the increasing US ground presence in Syria, US-led forces will have enough military capabilities to launch a storm of Raaqah and to after some time seize the city. In turn, Syrian government forces will likely make an attempt to reach a group of strategic sites southwest of Raqqah: Tabqa, the Tabqa Airbase and the Tabqa dam.

If done, the government will be able to limit the US presence in the country with northeastern Syria. However, government forces will also need to secure the area of Deir Ezzor and its oil fields from ISIS. These efforts will draw a significant means and capabilities from the Syrian military which will delay operations against Hayat Tahir al-Sham in the western part of the Aleppo province.

Meanwhile, the Syrian army continued operations against ISIS near Palmyra, capturing the Mustadira Mountain and getting a fire control over the western part of the Mustadira gas field. This will likely lead to the liberation of the area in the nearest future. If done, government forces will be able to focus on a bunch of hilltops and the military site between the Mustadira and Jazal fields.

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  • Brad Isherwood

    FARS news reports ISUS leaders fleeing Raqqa
    http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951225001127
    FARS news also articles on US helicopters rescuing ISUS leaders in Mosul
    Ressuplying ISUS fighting in Mosul and western Iraq,…filmed by Iraqi Army,
    Right in their face!….Ho Ahhh!

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russian-trained-5th-legion-soldiers-complete-rigorous-training-camp/

    • Jens Holm

      They havnt been there for Years. They have bee drinking vodka and smoking cuban cígars in the empty turkish tourist areas for years. ISIS is a cover up by high tech japanese trying to relance maoism genetic implanted with the best part of buddism.

    • John Whitehot

      what a fucking perverted liar. The link points to the training of the 5th Syrian Army legion.

      • Brad Isherwood

        The Almasdar link is about 5th Legion,….
        I think I got that on this forum before Southfront did.
        FARS news has articles on US helicopters supply ISIL

        Obviously …YOU….have personal issues with me…….to fly off the handle like
        That.

        • John Whitehot

          I have personal issues with liars and whores and anybody able to read more than two lines of text can see what i mean.
          If you write about a subject in a line, and put a link in the next that talks abt totally different matter, it means you’re just spewing bs to make people believe your lies are supported by some facts.

  • Wahid Algiers

    The SAA and their allies need to get Tabqa, the Tabqa Airbase and the Tabqa dam in the southwest of Raqqah to minimize the options of the US forces.

    But in the same time they have to push forward from Palmyra to Deir Ezzor to prevent the stabilisation by ISIS with fighters fled from Raqqah.
    Sure: any operations against the Jihadists in the western part of the Aleppo province and Idleb have to wait for a final battle there. In the meanwhile the Tigers will do their job nearby Deir Hafer to support later on the activities in Raqqah and Deir Ezzor.

    • John Whitehot

      i’m not sure that the current political scenery supports this. I mean, I concur with your opinion, but in fact there could be a different precondition, one in which both the SAA and the SDF have the priority to limit the option of the FSA with their Turkish friends. I guess that moves on the terrain have the potential of giving out that information.

      • Bill Wilson

        I would think that Assad has more to fear about the Iranians, Hezbollah and Tayyip than the USA.

        • Attrition47

          Erdogan obviously but why ooh-aah Hezbollah and the Iranians? They’ve been fighting the US head-chopping, heart-eating rapers.

        • Thegr8rambino

          iranians and hezbollah are with assad, not against him

        • Nigel Maund

          Bill, you’ve got matters somewhat muddled. The Iranians and Hezbollah are undoubtedly working with Russia and Syria. Turkey is another matter as no one quite knows where they stand other than with anyone who is against the Kurds.

    • Thegr8rambino

      yes tabqa has some MiG-21 and Mi-8 which will be very helpful to SAA

      • Jens Holm

        What a joke.

        • Thegr8rambino

          U are the joke

          • Jens Holm

            First You dont know if those jets still are there and second: Do You really believe ISIS will leave them intact to use on them.

            At what are they – kind of spareparts for a museum or a flying cirkus. Once they were fine aircrafts.

          • Thegr8rambino

            And you know?

          • Jens Holm

            Yes too much “was” becauase of the war, but also much aircontrol are replaced by better and better drones.

    • Jens Holm

      If SDF and kurds wasnt there, Assads would be gone long time ago. The matter is not even USA but taking it from ISIS at all.

      hen the same rubbel about connecting Der El Zor even You and others are told 1001 times, that SAA has no troops for gurading that long mainroad, they cant supply them and its very easo to cut and make loses – such as 30 tanks and armed vehicles.

      You deny to see facts even ISIS seems to be some weaker now.

      • Wahid Algiers

        Where is the difference between pounding the countryside of Deir Ezzor by aircrafts or the left and right side of the M20 when it is taken to Deir Ezzor? The SAA and the allies need to get the ressources neary Deir Ezzor and to free their comrades there.

  • Xanatos

    Isis knows their hold on territory is doomed. The leaders left suicide garrisons in raqqa and fled towards deir ezzor. They will probably hide in Abu Kamal by the iraq border as a last outpost. From there they can drive south back to saudi arabia when they are finally defeated. I predict this will happen this year. The end of ISIS will not simplify syria, still too many factions. But if the SAA secures the oil fields near deir ezzor they’ll finally get a source of badly needed cash to help them win the war.

    • Hisham Saber

      China is paying for all that the Syrian Government needs. Including the Russians who are giving Syria all the battlefield weapons the SAA needs, on credit. Iran is helping too. I also heard that China has offered to pick up the tab for all of Russia’s war effort in Syria.

      ISIS is doomed, hence the Pentagon is sending more troops illegally to Syria to save their mercenaries, ISIS.

  • Hisham Saber

    Fars news is reporting that Russia is sending Commandos/Special Operations Forces to southern Syria. I am almost certain these are Chechen Russian Commandos operating for the Russian MoD, and these men have been provided by Mr. Khadyrov.

    http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951225001342

    These same Chechen troopers fought in the Donbass too, and are primarily responsible for the Ukrainian Government troop routs at Donetsk Airport Battle, and the shredding of Ukie armored columns at the Battle of Debaletsevo. These guys are hard-core. Very effective fighters not to be messed with. Chechens have been used as ‘shock troops’ for Russia since the days of Peter the Great till now. Today, they are referred to as ‘The Muslim Battalions’ of the Russian MoD. They fought at Stalingrad,WW1 and 2, Afghanistan, Donbass and Syria. They participated in the recent liberation of Palmyra. Also, Russian Muslims of the Caucuses helped bring down the Kingdom of Khazaria, which was harassing Russia proper for a long time.