Syrian War Report – Nov. 19, 2018: Government Forces Crushed ISIS-held Pocket In Southern Syria

Donate

Loading the player...

If you’re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn’t be possible without your help: PayPal: southfront@list.ru or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or via: https://www.patreon.com/southfrontBTC: 3Gbs4rjcVUtQd8p3CiFUCxPLZwRqurezRZ, BCH: qpf2cphc5dkuclkqur7lhj2yuqq9pk3hmukle77vhq, ETH: 0x9f4cda013e354b8fc285bf4b9a60460cee7f7ea9

On November 17th, the Syrian Army (SAA) and its allies regained control of al-Safa after the collapse of ISIS defense in the area. An SAA source told SouthFront that heavy rain had destroyed most of the fortifications and hideouts of the terrorist group during the last few days. The remaining terrorists fled towards the eastern Homs desert. The state news agency SANA confirmed that the SAA had made significant gains and that the highest positions in the are under army control.

On the same day, heavy clashes between ISIS militants and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) broke out around the strategic town of Hajin in the middle of the Euphrates valley. The SDF said that it had killed 20 ISIS terrorists during the attack.

Additionally, pro-government as well as opposition sources reported that US-led coalition airstrikes had killed more than 40 civilians, half of which reportedly children. The US-led coalition increased its aerial strikes in the Euphrates Valley to assist the SDF, which is still unable to deliver a devastating blow to ISIS there.

The Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) announced that its units in the western province of al-Anbar struck ISIS fighters in the Syrian town of al-Baghuz al-Fawqani in Syria. Kassem Musleh, commander of the PMU’s operation in the region said that the PMU had reinforced its positions along the Syrian-Iraqi border. The move was a response to the increased ISIS activity in the US sphere of responsibility on the Syrian side of the border.

On November 18th, SANA reported that the SAA foiled another infiltration attempt by opposition members in the northern Hama countryside. The terrorist groups were infiltrating from the direction of al-Bouaida and Ma’ar Keba at the same time. According to SANA, the SAA opened fire and launched bombardments inflicting heavy losses to the militants.

SAA forces shelled militant positions in the towns of al-Tamanah, Aziziya and Jarjnaz in the southern Idlib countryside. Pro-government sources said that it was a response to an attack by Wa Harid al-Muminin militants in northern Lattakia, which left 18 Syrian soldiers dead.

On November 16th, militants from the “Wa Harid al-Muminin” operations room targeted positions of the SAA in the areas of al-Harishah and Mazra’at Waridah in the southwestern Aleppo countryside with an armed drone.

On the same day, the al-Mayadeen TV correspondent in Syria Dima Nasir said that the SAA and its allies are preparing for a limited military operation in Idlib, in response to the repeated violations of the Russian-Turkish deconfliction agreement.

Besides this the situation within the opposition-held area in Idlib also remains unstable. On November 17th, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) militants attacked a headquarters of al-Qaeda affiliated Horas al-Din in the town of Harim in the northern Idlib countryside and clashes with several French militants who were hiding inside it. According to Syrian opposition sources, 5 French militants were killed in the clashes, while 45 more are besieged inside the base.

Donate

SouthFront

Do you like this content? Consider helping us!

  • R Trojson

    They even make the excuse “the remaining terrorists fled toward the… “.

    Translation: They moved ISIS out of al Safa to fight the Kurds and US. They had ISIS surrounded for months. Then they just let them go to the next battle. Obviously ISIS works for Russia-Syria-Iran.

    • JerryDrake

      Obviously ISIS work for USA. That, what you say is speculation. As long as we do not get hands and make a circle there is a possibility that someone gets out of the blockade. If you participated in the war, you would know why.
      If it’s already the way you say, can you comment on how hundreds of ISIS terrorists with heavy weapons managed to get out of Raqqa if we know that Raqqa was in deep blockade and under the offensive of the U.S. proxy forces? A deal? Noooooo, the Americans would not do it like that. They are the embodiment of honesty, just so much so that you never turn your back on them!

      • Ray Douglas

        Another possible explanation is, the SAA killed them all and are anxious to avoid international do gooders making a big deal out of it. After all, they all joined in the chorus when they accused Syria of using chemical weapons. Lets hope they killed them all. Its the Syrians who are claiming they escaped not ISIS. If ISIS had escaped they would be making a big deal out of it.

        • FlorianGeyer

          That’s a good point and quite possible.

          Russia stated a few weeks ago that munitions for the latest operation in Al Safa were provided by Russia.

          It is quite possible that very potent munitions have been used that Russia does not want to brag about.

        • R Trojson

          The World deserves to know tall ISIS al Safe fighters were eliminated. The only way even one ISIS fighter got away is if Syria let them go.

      • R Trojson

        If ISIS works for US then why did Russia-Syria-Iran let them go to fight another day? They had them surrounded on that little spit of land in al Safa.

        They let ISIS go with orders to move east and fight Kurds and US, no other reason makes any sense.

        • PJ London

          Why wouldn’t they?
          Is America and the Kurds an ally of Syria?
          If ISIS kills Americans and Kurds how is that bad?
          If the Kurds and US kill ISIS how is that bad?
          Inshallah they kill each other.

          • R Trojson

            Then we agree ISIS works for Russia

          • PJ London

            No dumbo, the fact that I allow a mugger to run away does not mean that the mugger ‘works’ for me

          • R Trojson

            Muggers only run away after they mug you… steal your stuff and beat or kill you. ISIS did not steal, they were given at least 4 truckloads of food, drugs, money, arms and weapons by Russia-Syria-Iran.

            You had the mugger at the end of your gun with his hands up and you gave him whatever he needed to attack and kill you neighbors. Then you told him who to attack and let him pack up his stuff and head out on his next assignment. Yes that mugger works for you.

          • PJ London

            ‘they were given at least 4 truckloads of food, drugs, money, arms and weapons by Russia-Syria-Iran.’ Where is the source for this??
            I believe that you are lying and you know that you are lying.
            You are projecting, where is any evidence or even a rumour that R-S-I told ISIS who to attack?
            Where is any evidence that R-S-I allowed ISIS to head for a next assignment?
            The whole world knows that US and Israel are the people who rescue and move the ISIS leaders to new locations. It is a proven fact that Israeli, American and Coalition officers have been captured working and leading ISIS cadre.
            You know that you are now lying and trying to obfuscate the stupidity that you have evinced so far.

    • gustavo

      Maybe you are totally on this Syria war stuff. ISIS-Daesh-Nustra were a creation of Israel-USA-NATO, with the help of Qatar, Saudis, Jordan and Turkey (NATO), with the goal to destroy Syria first, Iran second and Russia third. However, Russia realized about this plan, and by a Assad request Russia just has almost stopped totally this plan. It looks like that all will finish with a partition of Syria (Turkey at the north, USA-kurds at the east of Euphrates and Al Tanaf, and Syria the rest), but let wait what Syria people will decide to do about the main invasors (USA-Turkey).

      You need better information….stop paying total attention CNN, FOX, CBS, BBC, Le Monde, Curier… look for other sources.

      • Willing Conscience (The Truths

        Osama Bin Laden created al-Qaeda to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. Wiki info – Under CIA’s Operation Cyclone from 1979 to 1989, the United States and Saudi Arabia provided $40 billion worth of financial aid and weapons to almost 100,000 Mujahideen and “Afghan Arabs” from forty Muslim countries through Pakistan’s ISI. al-Qaeda was formed at an August 11, 1988, meeting between “several senior leaders” of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Abdullah Azzam, and bin Laden, where it was agreed to join bin Laden’s money with the expertise of the Islamic Jihad organization and take up the jihadist cause elsewhere after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan -.
        Just about every radical Sunni Muslim Jihadist group is either just an offshoot of al-Qaeda or inspired by them.

        • R Trojson

          That was 30 years ago. All of those al Qaeda fighters have retired and are living off their IRAs and 401Ks in Florida.

      • R Trojson

        I see ISIS as mercenaries for hire. Matters little to them who they worked for 10 years ago, only care about who is signing the checks today. Russia-Syria-Iran just resupplied al Safa ISIS 2 weeks ago with at least 4 truckloads of food, drugs, money, ammunition and arms as reported right here on SF… not on CNN and co. This proves ISIS is working for Russia and Co.

    • PJ London

      You clearly have no sense of strategy or tactics. If you completely surround them then they will fight to the last man and inflict losses on you. If you give them an escape route that chases them to an enemy then the enemy has the problem.
      So let them go and fight the Kurds and Americans. It is a win-win solution.

      • Willing Conscience (The Truths

        Forces that are surrounded and fight to the last man are only a problem when you don’t have air support to finish them off, the SAA and Russia don’t have that problem though, and should have just bombed them all into oblivion letting none escape. Though I don’t really think the SAA let any of them purposely escape.

        • PJ London

          This is urban warfare not open terrain. It is extremely likely that civilians, women and children were in the vicinity. Further they want to retake territory not merely flatten it. Raqqa and Fallujah show that (unrestricted bombing) outcome compared to most of the Syrian towns and villages that have been liberated.

          • Willing Conscience (The Truths

            This is not an urban area or a rural area, it’s a desolate area on top of an ancient volcano with not even animals living nearby, it’s one of the most desolate spots on the entire earth. I think the closest village Al Huquf is nearly 45 km away from the fighting. Go to google maps, use sat image and look for the big black desolate spot in Syria, that’s where they were fighting and also holding the hostages, then look for the nearest village to that area.
            So as much as I suggested your first comment was not entirely correct and explained why, your second one make you look completely ignorant and more than a little silly, the Wiki and google maps aren’t that hard to use.

          • PJ London

            Are you suggesting that Google maps and Satellite show the positions of ISIS forces or the SAA?
            Al Safa is a region not a place. All ISIS fighting is done from fortified villages and towns, precisely because in the open they would be slaughtered from the air.
            The reason that they put the words “al-Safa” in the middle of the ‘desolate’ spot is so that it does not obscure other names and places. (They also do it with names like Nebraska and New York State.)
            You are the one who is silly. You are the one who is ignorant.
            You are the one who believes that MSM and Wiki are the fount of all knowledge.
            ISIS (as have all military everywhere throughout the ages) attempt to seize and hold ‘high-ground’ overlooking villages and towns, as this gives them unobstructed fire and observation control, but this is not where the troops and fortifications are.
            Try watching the Syrian videos on youtube (if they are still there) it will show over and over that the battles take place in villages and towns, not on the open desert.

          • Willing Conscience (The Truths

            You’re a moron that can’t even read or understand SF articles and maps that
            show and explain exactly where the fightings taking place.
            For a start I didn’t suggest Google maps shows you Isis positions or anybody else’s, [SyrialiveUA map does though]. I said you could locate where the fighting was by using google maps and looking for a big black spot on the map. I know that’s where the fighting was taking place [unlike you] and tried to make it easy for you to locate. If you think I’m a liar you should check SyrialiveUAmap [they have a timeline feature] or even old SF articles that refer to where the fighting was just recently, locate the area they say the fighting was, then find the exact same location on google maps, then use sat image to see what the terrain around this area is really like, and just how many villages and towns are anywhere nearby, THERE’S NONE MORON no life at all either.
            As to Isis only fighting in villages and towns here at Al Safa, are you being stupid, check Southfront and see if you can find even one article where they say Isis captured and held any towns and here at all in the last 12 months, it was all guerilla warfare on their part with numerous raids on Druze towns but no territory gained in any urban areas, just some rural areas and desolate wasteland that they promptly lost when the SAA began attacking them. The only thing Isis has done of major consequence here lately is kidnap the Druze civilians, they DIDN’T capture any towns though, and you won’t find even one article in SF that says they did. Maybe you’re thinking of 18 months ago when Isis did hold some towns here and to the north, but they were all kicked out by the Russians and SAA and have never really got more than a foot back in the door in all the time since.
            “Al Safa is a region not a place” gee as if that’s news to me MORON, but I’m surprised you know it though, since you obviously know nothing else about Syria. We’re talking about the border area between As Suwayda and Rif Dimashq about 50 km from the Iraq border, I don’t think you even know where it is.
            As to your stupid comment – “All ISIS fighting is done from fortified villages and towns, precisely because in the open they would be slaughtered from the air” – try telling that to Isis in the northern Dier ez-Zor desert where they’re fighting the SAA, they don’t hold any villages or fortified areas there and are still managing to attack the SAA very regularly. That’s what they’ve been doing at Al Safa too MORON.

          • PJ London

            ‘all guerilla warfare on their part with numerous raids on Druze towns’ so where were the guerrillas located when not raiding?
            In a village or town MORON!
            Do you think they were living off the desert?
            Do you think that they dug holes in the sand and stayed there undetected for a couple of years?
            If you look at Google between Deir-ez-zur and Al Raqqa you see half a dozen stores and half a dozen Mosques but no villages are named.
            The whole area is developed as irrigated agricultural ‘plots’ and small farms, hundreds of houses and dozens of villages without google identifying them. But each village has a name, known to all the locals. ISIS will be in among the farms and villages, not camping out in the desert. (and you call me a moron!).
            In al-Safa there are dozens, maybe 100 villages between Sudwayda and the border. Do you not count Samj and 99 others as villages?
            (Hint use the ‘+’ button on Google maps it will give you more details)
            Your ignorance of warfare is astounding.

          • Willing Conscience (The Truths

            They were located in the caves and other good hiding spots, not in any villages, the Druze would kill them on sight, NO DRUZE HAS EVER BEEN SYMPATHETIC TO ISIS EVER, they are mortal enemies and since it’s 90% + Druze in this area, which towns or villages do you think they stayed at and got support from, tell me and I’ll prove you wrong.
            No they weren’t living off the desert, as I said before there are no farms, fields trees or anything else in this area, it’s an ancient lava lake and extinct volcano with nothing alive around it for 30 to 40 km, no people and no animals, not even native animals leave alone domestic stock. The Isis fighters are reinforced, resupplied and given intel by the US backed rebels at Al-Tanf 75 km to the northeast of here.
            Yes there are hundreds of towns and villages between Sudwayda and the border with Rif Dimashq, but none close to the Rif Dimashq border at Al Safa. If you pump in Al Safa in google maps it’ll take you straight to the volcano where Isis made their last stand, try and find even one small village any closer than 45 km away. And don’t mistake place names for villages or towns, use sat image and look at what’s at the name, don’t assume just because an area has a name it also has a population.

            Here’s what wiki says, – As-Safa (Arabic: الصفا‎, Aṣ-Ṣafā), also known as Tulul al-Safa (تلول الصفا, Tulūl Eṣ-Ṣafā), Arabic for Al-Safa hills, is a hilly region which lies in southern Syria, north-east of Jabal Al-Arab volcanic plateau. It consists of a basaltic lava field of volcanic origin, covering an area of 220 square kilometres, and contains at least 38 cinder cones. This volcanic field lies within the northern part of the massive alkaline Harrat Ash Shamah volcanic field that extends from southern Syria, through eastern Jordan to Saudi Arabia. The region is extremely scarce in water. A boiling lava lake was observed in the Es Safa volcanic area in the middle of the 19th century (see Erta Ale in Ethiopia and Puʻu ʻŌʻō in Hawaii for reference).
            Safaitic script with a figure of a camel on a red sandstone fragment, from es-Safa, currently housed in the British Museum
            The region was frequently used by the Druze through history as a refuge in the years of war. The whole region currently lies within As-Suwayda Governorate, as the governorate’s borders run along the region’s boundaries. Only roaming Bedouins visit it occasionally, in addition to some archaeologists. Safaitic inscriptions were first discovered in this area in 1857, and were named after the region.
            In the Syrian civil war, al-Safa became the last pocket of ISIL in the As-Suwayda Governorate and the Rif-Damasiq Governorate. It was surrounded by the Syrian Army in the As-Suwayda offensive.[1] The area was liberated on 17 November 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Safa_(Syria).

            Hint, use your brain instead of your negative attitude, every single thing you said and claimed is totally wrong, in not just this comment, but in all the other 3 comments you posted as well, you haven’t got even one thing right by accident.

          • PJ London

            Did they chase bin Laden out the caves or were they hiding with him?
            ‘Other good hiding places’ is that in the forest with Robin Hood or maybe, just maybe they were in the villages.
            You just make sh1t up as you go along.
            Are you claiming that all the villages and people in the area are Druze? Again just invented nonsense.
            They weren’t in the volcano, they are not gnomes or trolls.
            Yes the US and Coalition are supplying and supporting but the idea that ISIS is just wandering around the desert is laughable. The Russians and Syrians have the whole area under 24 hour surveillance. Maybe ISIS are disguised as Israelites with a funny bloke walking in front holding a staff.
            Their most likely hideout is the camps at al-Tanf but if cut-off then they have to run North toward Homs.
            You quote Wiki, that well known fount of all things true and beautiful.
            For goodness sake. Look at the reports, look at the maps, look at the outcomes and use your brain.
            You have not provided a single piece of evidence to support your silly claims.
            Everything I have written is based on sound evidence, military tactics and logic.

          • Willing Conscience (The Truths

            Go back to reading cartoons or LGBTQI magazines, they deal in fantasy.

      • R Trojson

        Then we agree Russia-Syria-Iran let al Safa ISIS go.

        • PJ London

          Yes, to prevent the slaughter that the US calls “Collateral Damage”. As in dozens of innocent women and children. Some of them hostages, some ‘human shields and some merely bystanders.

          • R Trojson

            There are no innocent women and children there. It is a barren top of a volcano with the nearest village over 20 kilometers away. How can anyone not know this?

          • PJ London

            You are being deliberately obtuse. Are you claiming that there are no civilians or women or children in the al-Safa region, the region you yourself state is area between Sawayda and the border?
            Just stop, you are embarrassing yourself, and causing me to get really annoyed at your dishonesty.

          • R Trojson

            al Safa ISIS was surrounded on a little spit of land on top of an old dormant volcano. No villages in sight. They were completely surrounded for many months by the Russia-Syria-Iran coalition. Please read a little before opening your mouth.

  • The Interrogator

    They are killing CG!

  • Mustafa Mehmet

    at last.. hope so next stop is ragga nearer then idlip afrin al bab manbic kobani dam it still long way to go. saa can make it no prop

  • gustavo

    It is time now to clean totally Al Sukhanah area of terrorists, Idlib, and Al-Tanf (USA).

    • PJ London

      If they only take 1 kilometre per day, in a year they have covered 365 kilometres.
      Consolidate your gains, make peace behind you, keep your supply lines safe and make friends wherever you go.
      1 year – 2 years, time and the people are on their side.

  • The Interrogator

    It’s not an act, is it, Russian Intelligence is as incompetent as the CIA? There is an incredibly valuable potential source, perishing in Miami, and you are to stupid to know what is going down.

  • leon mc pilibin

    Now to IDLIB

    • Mustafa Mehmet

      Why not golan or ragga .

  • The Interrogator

    Do not decieve yourselves into thinking that Drudge, InfoWars or VT will expose legitimate threats to the Deep-State or US, both have accepted intel for personal profit, which they could trade with the people they claim to be fighting.

  • jorge

    Guys, lets donate to South Front.

    • Carne João Pasta

      I think I shall. This is one of my main sources for intel (even if I mostly go straight to the comments). They seem to be independent, have integrity in their reporting. That’s rare these days.

  • The Interrogator

    Is the CIA your enemy? I can’t tell from your behavior; the truth about America sounds like lies when spoken with a Russian accent. You have the opportunity to save CG so that he can destroy the reputations of your alleged enemies, using verifiable non classified information. By your actions we shall see if the CIA is your enemy or your master.