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Syrian War Report – May 18, 2017: Competition For Syrian-Iraqi Border

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Voiceover by Harold Hoover

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies, backed up by Russian warplanes and attack helicopters, have made fresh advances against ISIS terrorists in the province of Homs. They have liberated the Tafaha hills area within about 20 km northwest of the Tiyas Airbase and engaged ISIS units near the Arak gas field near Palmyra.

ISIS claimed that its members had been able to hit two SAA battle tanks with anti-tank guided missiles near the Palmyra silos. The fate of the crews is unknown.

According to pro-government sources, some 15 ISIS members were killed in the recent clashes.

In the province of Aleppo, government forces, led by the SAA’s Tiger Forces, have liberated Jarah Kabir, Durubiyah al-Kabirah, Nafiiyah, Atira, Atira Cattle Farm, Mazyounat al-Humur, Tall Hassan, and Jubb al-Ali from ISIS terrorists.

The SAA is advancing towards the strategic ISIS-held town of Maskanah. Multiple airstrikes against ISIS targets were reported in this countryside.

Meanwhile, reports appeared that the Desert Hawks Brigade had arrived the Ithriyah-Aleppo road area in order to support the SAA’s efforts against ISIS in central Syria.

The SAA has repelled several fierce ISIS attacks in the city of Deir Ezzor. According to the Syrian Defense Ministry, 28 terrorists were killed and 30 others were wounded during the clashes. The SAA also managed to destroy a tank, a BMP-1 vehicle, and 2 technicals armed with 23mm guns.

As ISIS is collapsing in Syria and Iraq, sides involved in the conflicts have increased their efforts in the area of the Syrian-Iraqi border. Western-backed militant groups, supported by the US-led coalition’s special forces and airpower, increased their activity in southern Syria.

US-led forces are pretending to control the whole Syrian-Iraqi border area south of the Euphrates. However, while al-Bukamal remains under the ISIS rule, this is not possible.

Another important target is Deir Ezzor. The Deir Ezzor countryside is full of oil fields and if US-backed forces reach it they would impose control over these important assets. Deir Ezzor and Raqqah remain the only cities, which US-backed forces can capture under a pretext of combating terrorists.

At the same time, Syrian government forces also increased operations in the southeastern Syria desert and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have expanded efforts aimed at combating ISIS near the border with Syria.

According to Iraqi sources and some experts, the PMU is a force having the potential to come to power in Iraq after the defeat of ISIS. The PMU consists mostly of Arabs who share a regional vision similar to that of the Damascus government.

The main goal of the US and its allies is to prevent a situation where the PMU could dominate in Iraq or to build a large buffer zone between Iraq and Syria dividing potential allies.

The global elites are successively opposed to the creation of a united Arab entity in the Middle East. In this light, the US-backed militant advance “against ISIS” along the Syrian-Iraqi border is just a tool to achieve some geopolitical goals in the Middle East.

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Hisham Saber

The world states that unleashed the scourge of Daesh and other subversions in the Middle-east have inadvertently blundered big time. When this is all said and done, they will have caused a united resistance front spanning from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and even Yemen. Russia and China are also allies in this resistance front.

The losers are Israel, U.S., Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar. The Kurds will have to decide which side of the ‘fence’ they want to be on. This is a crucial point in time for them.


Well I hope so.

Jonathan Cohen

Obviously the kurds are on their own side, that being the side that gives them the most powerful weapons with which to take the most territory for their nation. That can be Russia and China if they cough up the stuff, but it is unlikely to be Syria, Iran or Turkey, which contest territory.


In general I agree.

However, it is not about who promises the most heavy arms, but about who offers, and can deliver, the most political support, autonomy.

Jonathan Cohen

The heavy arms are for defending their autonomy without needing political support.

Dustil schmit

Unconfirmed reports of airstrikes on SAA in southern Syria desert.


Confirmed by now – and mentioned in several Western media already. In the words of the US Army the Syrian Army violated a 34-mile “deconfliction zone” around al-Tanf and after repeated warnings the US sent its bombers. One Syrian soldier should have been killed. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-aircraft-strike-syrian-regime-forces-al-tanf-base/


Thanks …. I read the CBS news story. This is a major development.

I have examined a map of the al-Tanf area. The problem with the reason provided by the US for the attack on Syrian forces is that al-Tanf is a boarder crossing between Syria and Iraq. While it is true that the US has a rebel training base inside Northern Jordan, it is not near al-Tanf. While the US base location is a secret, it could be no closer than 30 miles to the al-Tanf crossing.

Why would Russia or Syria agree to a “deconfliction zone” that cedes to the rebels a valuable highway connecting Damascus to Baghdad (and then on to Tehran)?

Obviously, if the SAA opens this highway, the Israel/neocon “plan B” to create a Sunni state to replace ISIS and partition Syria, is down the tubes.

For this reason the US is attempting to misrepresent the location of their secret Jordan base as an excuse to prevent the SAA from capturing this highway.

With this rational, the US can claim the entire Eastern half of Syria for the rebels, merely by claiming they have secret bases located wherever the SAA wants to go.

We will see what happens when Russian attack helicopters and air defense systems and the SAA are airlifted into that al-Tanf boarder crossing. Keep in mind that Iraqi Army and friendly Iraqi Shiite militias control the Iraqi side of that boarder crossing. All they need to do is airlift into the Iraqi boarder side and then walk across the boarder. Right now they are just 40 miles away.

Russia needs to call this US bluff immediately.

If the US still wants to play hardball, Putin should tell Trump (after the Afghanistan Taliban mysteriously obtain “manpad” shoulder fired surface to air missiles) ……” too bad about that quagmire you got yourself into in Afghanistan “.

Brad Isherwood

Agreed upon deconfliction zone huh… So…where ever US boots and FSA go……is deconfliction zone. Lol…The US can invite every ISUS in Syria Euphrates East to turn themselves in and become FSA,…..and Syria loses the East.

US steal for Rothschilds and Israel on the easy. Hear that Rothschilds Putin. ….on the Easy. Putin sure is good to his Rothschilds Partners : )

Nigel Maund

Excellent little synopsis with sound conclusions re US actions in Syria; which make absolute sense. The mainstream “western” media never covers this material in any objective manner as one would expect of them.


The PMU ,forces are both Sunni and Shia , there is also a Christian Unit . They have military objectives ,( not so much political) , aiding the Iraqi government in the expulsion of ISIS . This they have largely achieved , despite American interference trying to stop that .

They are in a position to come to the rescue in Deir Ezzor . While the Tiger Forces are heading that way from Palmyra , it will take some time . If they can help SAA retake the mountains near the airport , the airport could be used again , not only to resupply Deir Ezzor , but to use as a base to re claim the oil fields , and secure the border . With Syrian helicopters and planes safely able to use that airport both ISIS and the FSA would soon go back to Jordan .

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