Syrian War Report – October 24, 2016: Only Options Are Assad in Damascus or Al-Nusra in Damascus

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On October 22, clashes resumed between the Syrian government forces and the Al-Nusra-led coalition of militant groups in Aleppo city. Next days, heavy clashes were reported in the southern neighborhoods of Aleppo – Amiriyah, Sheikh Saeed and the 1070 Apartment Project – and in the southern Aleppo countryside.

Air strikes have been reported inside and outside Aleppo since October 21. According to local sources, the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force have bombed al-Nusra’s supply lines southwest of the city. Unspecified number of air strikes was also delivered inside Aleppo, according to pro-militant sources.

The Syrian army, Lebanese Hezbollah and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (an Iraqi pro-government militia) deployed in total up to 4,000 fighters to the area of Aleppo within the ceasefire.

Al-Nusra and the so-called ‘Free Syrian Army’ additionally deployed some 1,500 fighters, over 10 units of heavy military equipment and some 20 vehicles equipped with machine guns and mortars. The total manpower of the joint terrorist forces outside Aleppo city is about 12,000 fighters. The Russian Ministry of Defense informed that the terrorists received additional arms and military equipment, including portable anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS), and now they are preparing to attack the government forces from the southwestern direction.

The Syrian military decided to counter this threat during a fresh operation in the same area, taking control of the Air Defense Battalion south of Mushrifah. Some 30 terrorists were killed in the clashes there. The strategic goal of the operation is Khan Tuman that remains the advance base of al-Nusra-led coalition.

The whole Syria must be “liberated,” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman announced. “There are just two options: Assad sitting in Damascus or the Nusra sitting in Damascus,” Dmitry Peskov said. The statement came at the day with the resumption of battle for Aleppo and followed the US State Demartment’s confirmation that the US-led coalition was not going to fight the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group because it was not the ‘goal’ in Syria.

An alliance of Turkish-backed militant groups that operates under the Free Syrian Army (FSA) brand continue attempts to break the defense lines of Kurdish YPG in the northern part of province. The FSA’s advance on the YPG-controlled villages of Sheikh Isa, Harbul, Hasiyah is supported by the Turkish Armed Forces’ battle tanks and artillery. There are also reports about Turkish troops embedded with FSA militants at the frontline. Over the weekend, the YPG were pushed to retreat to the previous front lines west of Hawsh. Over 10 Turkish battle tanks arrived to the town of Marea to participate in further clashes with the YPG. The Turkish army is also massing military equipment northwest of Al-Bab, preparing for an advance on this ISIS-controlled town.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the Syrian city of Aleppo and the Iraqi city of Mosul belong to Turks, speaking during an opening ceremony for an educational institution in Bursa on October 23. Erdogan compared the way that Syrians and Iraqis have been driven away from homes because of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, to how Turkish people were once forced out from their cities. The speech indicates that Ankara is set to continue its military expansion in Syria and Iraq.

The Syrian Air Force conducted a series of air strikes on ISIS terrorists near the city of Deir Ezzor on October 23. The air strikes took place near the Panorama checkpoint and the Deir Ezzor military airport and resulted in killing of 50 ISIS terrorists.

At least 14 militants were killed by the Syrian Army after launching an attack on the town of Jobar, east of Damascus. The militants used underground tunnels to approach the government-controlled areas but were repelled.

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  • New option – Erdogan in Damascus.

    • paul

      Good point. The further south the FSA and the Turks push the more likely
      it is that a new front will open up . Once close enough to Aleppo I
      can not see the FSA stopping and I think they will try to relieve
      their comrades inside the city. I think the usa would encourage this.

      • Ted

        I dont think what the USA does matters. While you may be correct they would have no problem with Turkey going after Assad or saving al nursra in Aleppo, the idea they would encourage suggest a standing they do not have. Turkey is acting on behalf of Turkey. Erdo blamed Gulen and the US for the coup and has moved away from the US and the west. The US cut the Turks out on Mosul. This is a new player on the board one that has many cards, the US never had been dealt a hand and cling to a group they have little or no control of in order to try and claim a seat at the table.

        I believe Turkey sees itself as the new regional power. If it can take Syria apart it could link to Jordan and Saudi Arabia. A large Sunni led front to counter Iran and Shea run Iraq. Eliminate the Kurd issue, and control a large portion of the middle east. Huge order yes, maybe a bit of tin foil hat thinking but it looks to me as if it lines up this way?

        • brutus

          really ? where are the Russians going then ?

          • Ted

            I would say thats the $64,000 dollar question?

            Is Turkey willing to risk its relations with Russia? Is Russia really all in? I know it may not be popular on this site, however popular and true are not always the same thing. Back to your question, where are the Russians going? I do not know.
            What I do know is if they decided to go anywhere it would not take them that long. All 18 Su24s and a dozen or so Su-25? Maybe 4 SU 30/Su34? And a few thousand ground personal with a few/3 SAM batteries? Russia does not have what one would call a powerful force in Syria. The ships bring some power but they also have the ability to evacuate the whole force if need be. If it comes to a confrontation with Turkey , Russia is not in a powerful position in Syria by any means. That all being said I am just guessing.

          • brutus

            why have those usa people so big panic about the Russians ? they can shoot any plane out of the sky over Syria their military machine is superior to any army in this world, usa wanted chaos in the world well Putin just told them you get what you ask usa is fighting for his petrol dollar they killed Kaddafi because he was busy making a new currency big emperies come and go usa is clearly on his way to go Russia crush nato inside 60 hours when they decide its enough. and turkey well I am just over thinking the beautiful and handy inventions they made the last 80 years so we do not have to worry about that Erdogan is a drug addicted junkie building his palace and dreaming of his ottoman reich

          • Ted

            I was just guessing. With your beliefs in Russian military power and abilities you should have nothing to worry about, or I should say Russia has nothing to worry about. If they can clean the floor with NATO in 60 hours as you believe a few thousand Al Nursra front guys should not last much longer.
            Have a good night!

          • brutus
          • Ted

            Thanks for the link , Did you read what you linked? Because in the very first line about 20 words in it says Russia could defeat NATO in and over run the Baltic states in 60 Hours. It was written to encourage the west to place troops into these areas as they have no defenses. So in short, the claim you are making for Russias strength is Russia could drive across Latvia in 60 hours as long as it remains without an army. This is actually the opposite of what you are looking for.

    • TRUTH
  • gfsdyughjgd .

    Erdogan has started to dig the oil pipeline which he clame Syrian Turkey border wall.But Mosul and Alepo attacks have ruined his plan.

  • Lord Humongous

    Erdogan wants the Ottoman Empire back. If he continues, he is likely to get much more than he bargained for.

  • TRUTH

    I want the moderate rebels to win

    • Ted

      Well you need to go find out where they are fighting and post in that comment section. This one is about Syria.

    • HardHawk

      are you volunteering, to go and make your wish come true?

      I be the one across from you sniping you.

      • TRUTH

        I will be the one spreading freedom

        • HardHawk

          you cannot not die more dam, than you are now, stop trying kid, you reach your destination.

          • TRUTH

            Americans never give up

          • HardHawk

            in what they never give up? Their pedophilia – child pron – organ harvesting – attacking defenseless people in their countries just because they can?

            Or the stupidity and ignorance that is your trade mark?

          • TRUTH