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Thread: Syrian Civil War Developments

  1. #2566
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    New developments:

    • TFSA soldiers capture Maydanki Dam in Afrin province
    • The Battle of Jandaris has begun
    • TFSA forces have captured a number of villages northeast of Afrin city, south of Sharan
    • SAA forces continue to advance in Ghouta. The pocket may be split in two in the coming days.

  2. #2567
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    More new developments:

    • Jandaris and the Maydankay Dam have fallen to the Turks/TFSA
    • The Turks/TFSA have cut off the main road leading to Afrin City from Zahraa/Nubl
    • The East Ghouta Pocket has effectively been cut in two by SAA forces

  3. #2568
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Turkish/TFSA forces have advanced rapidly through northeast Afrin province and are now overlooking Afrin City.

    Meanwhile a Turkish armored column and logistical support, including Leopard 2s, has advanced through Euphrates Shield territory toward Afrin.

    Last edited by Ironduke; 10 Mar 18, at 13:56.

  4. #2569
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    East Ghouta pocket, 2/27/18:



    East Ghouta pocket, 3/10/18:


  5. #2570
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    The East Ghouta pocket has been significantly reduced in the last 10 days, and the Syrians will obviously be turning their attention to other pockets in close proximity once Operation "Damascus Steel" is concluded.

    With Assad's offensive forces heavily concentrated in the Damascus area, the next offensives will likely be, in the following order:

    1) the Southern Damascus (Qadam) pocket (where Tahrir al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam are currently fighting ISIS and both are besieged by SAA forces). Assad issued an ultimatum yesterday giving the opposing forces there 48 hours to surrender the pocket with a "promise" of transportation to Idlib province.
    2) the Dumayr pocket 25 miles to the northwest of Damascus, which has already been isolated from the Eastern Qalamoun Pocket
    3) the Eastern Qalamoun Pocket which contains the cities of Ruhaybah and Jayrud

    The next major offensive will likely be the North Homs pocket.

    So far, the Turks on the one hand and the Syrians and their allies have been dancing around the edges and avoiding direct confrontation. It seems inevitable that this will no longer continue to be the case as events play out. I think there will be another tipping point in this war before the year is out.

    Last edited by Ironduke; 11 Mar 18, at 15:32.

  6. #2571
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    East Ghouta pocket now split into three:


  7. #2572
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    East Ghouta pocket now split into three:

    After nearly 7 years of Civil War Assad can almost lay claim to 10km east of Damascus.

  8. #2573
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    Russian military threatens action against the US in Syria

    The Russian military has threatened action against the U.S. if it strikes Syria's capital city of Damascus, according to multiple news reports.

    The threat, by Chief of Russia's General Staff Valery Gerasimov, was widely reported by Russia media sites such as state news agency RIA and Tass. It said Gerasimov said Russia had "reliable information" about militants preparing to falsify a government chemical attack against civilians.

    He continued by saying the U.S. would then use this attack to accuse Syrian government troops of using chemical weapons. He added that the U.S. would then plan to launch a missile strike on government districts in Damascus.

    "In several districts of Eastern Ghouta, a crowd was assembled with women, children and old people, brought from other regions, who were to represent the victims of the chemical incident, " Gerasimov said, according to RIA.

    Gerasimov said Russia would respond to a U.S. strike on Syria if the lives of Russian servicemen were threatened, targeting any missiles and launchers involved.

    "In case there is a threat to the lives of our military, the Russian Armed Force will take retaliatory measures both over the missiles and carriers that will use them," he said.

    The U.S. Department of Defense urged Russia to "stop creating distractions" and "enabling the Assad regime's brutality" in a statement sent to CNBC responding to the allegations.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/13/russ...-in-syria.html

  9. #2574
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Militant groups, among them JTS, have recently taken Karnaz, al-Hamamiyat, and al-Mughayyir, in an effort to relieve SAA pressure on the East Ghouta pockets that are left.

    https://syria.liveuamap.com/en/2018/...uses-on-karnaz

  10. #2575
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    The situation in Afrin today. The city is nearly surrounded, but it looks like for the time being the Turks/TFSA are leaving a corridor open through which the Kurds/YPG can flee.


  11. #2576
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  12. #2577
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    And it still not in Assad/Syria/Iran/Russia hands

  13. #2578
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
    And it still not in Assad/Syria/Iran/Russia hands
    Obviously not. I'm not sure who said it is or was going to be, so what prompted the statement?

    I do think there will be another tipping point in this war before another year passes, as Assad/allies and the Turks consolidate their respective positions. So far, they're mostly dancing around the edges, and largely avoiding direct confrontation. It's going to get more and more difficult to do if current trends continue. Depending on how the war in Yemen progresses, perhaps even the GCC/Jordanians will re-enter the picture.

    Of course, what I've said is purely speculative and may be completely worthless as an assessment, if one could even call it that.

  14. #2579
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    Syria war: Eastern Ghouta rebels announce ceasefire

    One of the remaining Syrian rebel groups in the besieged enclave of Eastern Ghouta, outside Damascus, has announced a ceasefire.

    The Faylaq al-Rahman group said the UN-brokered truce was to begin in the south of the enclave at 22:00 GMT.

    It said the move would allow talks with the Russian military, Syria's ally, on guarantees for the safety of civilians.

    Rebels in another part of the area reached a similar deal earlier. Syrian troops have taken 70% of the enclave.

    In recent weeks, they have cut the Eastern Ghouta into three separate pockets.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-43509540

    Syria war: First rebels leave defeated Eastern Ghouta town

    Syrian rebels and their families are being evacuated from a key town in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region as part of an agreement with the government.

    Buses carrying 1,480 people, including 600 Ahrar al-Sham rebels, drove out of Harasta as night fell, en route to the rebel-held northern province of Idlib.

    A military source said hundreds more were expected to follow on Friday.

    The evacuation deal is the first agreed since the offensive on the Eastern Ghouta was stepped up a month ago.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-43509540

  15. #2580
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    More here: http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/15/...rom-the-brink/
    America and Turkey Need to Step Back From the Brink
    Washington and Ankara are playing a dangerous game of chicken in Syria.

    Syria is today one of the world’s most dangerous places. The United States, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Israel, the Syrian regime, the Free Syrian Army, the Syrian Democratic Forces, Hezbollah, extremist groups of various stripes — these are among the players whose military forces are competing on the battlefield.

    As the slaughter of civilians continues, one particular danger looms especially large: The United States and Turkey are on a collision course in northern Syria. American forces are allied with a faction of Syria’s Kurds, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), against which Turkey has recently launched a military offensive. American and Turkish forces could come to blows on Syria’s battlefield, pitting two NATO members against each other and pushing the U.S.-Turkey relationship to the breaking point.

    Washington and Ankara need to step back from the brink before it is too late. The United States and Turkey still need each other to help stabilize a Middle East that is in turmoil. And with Turkish democracy already imperiled by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s autocratic turn, a breakup with the United States would likely prompt him to further tighten his grip and potentially end Turkey’s geopolitical alignment with the West — dealing both Turkey and the Atlantic community a decisive blow.

    The United States and Turkey admittedly face an inescapable clash of interests in Syria. Washington is right to stand by its military partnership with the YPG, the Kurdish militia it relied upon to lead the attack on the Islamic State and drive it from Raqqa. Alternative militias simply did not have the military wherewithal to do the job. At the same time, Ankara is fully justified in being deeply unsettled by U.S. support for the YPG due to its links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kurdish group that has longed waged a separatist terrorist campaign against Turkey.

    Now that the Islamic State is on the run, the United States and Turkey should be working hard to mend fences. But they are only making matters worse. The United States is doubling down on its relationship with the YPG, viewing the partnership as a vehicle for preserving U.S. influence in postwar Syria. Feeling betrayed by Washington, Ankara is pressing ahead with its military campaign against the YPG in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin and is threatening to head next to Manbij, a town to Afrin’s east with a sizable presence of both YPG and U.S. troops. The Turkish offensive has already distracted the YPG from the final stages of the fight against the Islamic State.

    The United States and Turkey urgently need to reverse course. With the defeat of the Islamic State in sight, Washington can afford to start scaling back its support to the YPG and instead put Turkish priorities front and center. The United States is reluctant to step back from the Kurds, concerned that doing so will undercut its ability to rely on them to counter Iranian and Russian influence in Syria. But Washington is overestimating its ability to look to the Kurds to check the regional sway of Tehran and Moscow. The United States can best fulfill that task by investing in its relationship with Turkey and helping Ankara expand its influence in Syria.

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