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Regional geopolitics

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  • Re: Regional geopolitics

    Syria Conflict Update: Regime establishes new supply line to Kweres as ISIS positions collapse in eastern Aleppo
    February 21, 2016
    Levantine Team

    Levantine Group's AssetSource security awareness application provides daily updates and analysis on the Syrian conflict. Below is our report for February 20-21.




    (Map appears differently in the AssetSource Application)


    Main developments:
    1/ Pro-regime forces reportedly completed the encirclement of an ISIS pocket between the Kweres airbase and the city of Aleppo: following clashes with ISIS, pro-regime forces seized the thermal plant east of the air base, then took Za'lanah, Fah and several other villages around road 4. This means that any ISIS forces south of these villages would have been surrounded. Following this, pro-regime sources claim the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and allies were able to fully capture the whole remaining ISIS pocket south of Fah, claiming ISIS withdrew from the area before being surrounded. Multiple Russian airstrikes were reported during the offensive.

    2/ Meanwhile the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claim they captured the city of Shaddadi on February 20 after reaching the outskirts of the town, in Syria's northeastern province of Hasakah. Pro-ISIS sources however claim that fighting is still ongoing in the city, and that ISIS sent reinforcements from the Deir Ez-Zor Province. Regardless the SDF reportedly advanced south of the city and pro-Kurdish sources claim the group seized the village of Fardghami and is advancing toward the ISIS-held town of Markadah, thus almost entirely expelling ISIS from the Hasakah Province. Pro-ISIS sources however claim the group launched a counter-offensive in the area.

    3/ An airstrike reportedly struck Kurdish forces near the Tishrin east of Hasakah. The People's Protection Units (YPG) reportedly stated that the cluster munitions were used, further stating that the airstrike was not carried out by an aircraft participating in the US-led anti-ISIS coalition, and that they were trying to identify the perpetrator. (Turkish ?)

    4/ Two bombs detonated within a minute of each other in Homs' al-Zahra district, killing over 50 and injuring 170, while four bombs exploded in Damascus' Set Zeynab area, killing over 62 and injuring over 100 more. For more details and assessments see our previous February 21 reports on AssetSource.


    Don't get bogged down in the Syrian information war!
    Get front-by-front updates, mapping, and analysis here.


    Other updates by fronts:

    Northern Aleppo Province:
    Russian warplanes struck the opposition-held towns of Hayyan, Anadan and Bayanoun, north of Aleppo city.

    Eastern Aleppo Province:
    Russian warplanes struck the ISIS-held town of al-Bab, east of Aleppo city.

    Aleppo City:
    Clashes broke out between opposition and Kurdish forces in Ashrafiyye, near the Kurdish-held district of Sheikh Maqsoud. Kurdish forces reportedly called for residents to mobilize in the area, as tensions have flared up there following the laucnhing of an SDF offensive in northern Aleppo last week.

    Southern Aleppo Province:
    Russian warplanes reportedly struck opposition targets near the regime-held town of Khan Tuman.

    Raqqa Province:
    According to pro-regime sources clashes continue to be reported east of Ithiriya, along the road leading to the ISIS-held town of al-Tabqah.

    Latakia Province:
    Clashes reportedly broke out between pro-regime and opposition forces in the village of A'aliyah/Qaruja, in the Latakia mountains. Meanwhile pro-regime sources claim the SAA and allies took the villages of Nahshabba and Ain al-Qantara, east of the recently seized city of Kinsabba.

    North of Hama:
    Russian warplanes reportedly struck the opposition-held town of Ltamenah.

    Damascus Province:
    A surface-to-surface missile fired regime forces reportedly impacted the opposition-held town of Darayya west of Damascus. Clashes were also reported within the city as pro-regime forces tried to advance inside Darayya. Finally, Russian warplanes struck the opposition-held town of Irbin.

    Southern Syria:
    Russian warplanes reportedly struck the opposition-held town of Kafr Nasej.


    Context & Anaylsis
    The collapse of ISIS's defensive lines in eastern Aleppo follows weeks of regime offensive in the area, along with an ISIS counter-offensive that delayed regime advances. With the taking of Fah and the surrounding area, a new supply line to the formerly besieged Kweres airbase has been established.

    With recent pro-regime gains, the pro-regime camp may launch a new operation meant to push ISIS out of northeastern Aleppo. An immediate target of such an operation would be the ISIS-held city of al-Bab, north of Kweres, while Manbij and Jarablus could be the targets of a broader operation meant to reach the Turkish border. Should pro-regime forces indeed decide to push north, SDF forces fighting near the ISIS-held town of Manbij may also decide to launch their own operation to reach the border, as was the case in northern Aleppo when pro-regime forces were advancing northward.

    Meanwhile, while at this time conflicting claims are emerging regarding the current situation in Shaddadi and its vicinity, the SDF operation seems largely successful. The SDF however seems to have decided to push further south as means to to capitalize on the weakening of ISIS positions there, likely without fully clearing Shaddadi. This may indeed expose the SDF to an ISIS counter-offensive.


    For daily high-resolution updates, mapping, and predictive analysis on the Syrian conflict, download AssetSource today and receive a free trial.

    Comment


    • Re: Regional geopolitics

      Rare balanced coverage in western media.

      Comment


      • Re: Regional geopolitics



        https://imgur.com/orHlUqb

        Comment


        • Re: Regional geopolitics

          ISIS cuts the only government supply line to Aleppo

          By Leith Fadel
          22/02/2016

          On the same day that the Syrian Armed Forces liberated the Al-Safira Plains in east Aleppo, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) returned the favor by cutting the government’s only supply route along the Ithriyah-Khanasser Road, which ultimately leads to the Aleppo Governorate.

          According to an Al-Masdar correspondent in Damascus, ISIS captured Rasm Al-Nafal after launching a surprise assault on the National Defense Forces’ (NDF) positions inside this small village in the Aleppo Governorate’s southeastern countryside. Located directly southwest of Jabboul Lake, Rasm Al-Nafal is an uninhabited village that was filled with soldiers from the National Defense Forces; however, the surprise attack by ISIS forced the government forces to make an abrupt withdrawal before being overrun by the terrorist group on Sunday evening.

          The likelihood that ISIS will maintain control over this village for a long duration is not realistic; this is the Syrian government’s only supply route to Aleppo and an integral roadway that gives the latter access to several regions in northern Syria. In the coming hours, the Syrian Armed Forces are expected to launch a counter-assault in order to recapture Rasm Al-Nafal from ISIS. However, the Syrian Armed Forces will need to strengthen their buffer-zone around the Ithriyah-Khanasser Road because this is the second time in 5 months that ISIS has cut this supply route.

          https://www.almasdarnews.com/article...ine-to-aleppo/ | Al-Masdar News

          Comment


          • Re: Regional geopolitics

            Russia air strikes seal Jebel Druze against attack and refugees
            debka

            While Syrian war reporting focused over the weekend on the battles around Aleppo and along the Turkish border in the north, Russia since Saturday, Feb. 20 has ramped up its air bombardment of southern cities and towns, especially Daraa and Nawa. Thousands of fleeing rebels with their families and other civilians have meanwhile been turned away from the locked Jordanian border and are heading towards the Golan opposite the Israeli border.
            The heaviest Russian air strikes seen hitherto in Syria have two strategic goals.
            1. To retake the key southern town of Daraa from rebel hands and restore it to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s full control.
            2. To crush rebel resistance in the South and force them to accept surrender, collapse or escape in the direction of the Jordanian or Israeli borders.
            The intense Russian sorties are opening the door to Syrian, Iranian and Hizballah forces to move into the South and reach the Israeli borders. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent Dr. Dore Gold to Moscow last week as his special emissary to explain how this affected Israel’s security. But he was unable to persuade the Russians to scale down their attacks in this sensitive border region.
            Those attacks have a third goal, which is to encircle the Jebel Druze region with a “shield of fire” as protection for this ethnic minority of 750,000, most which inhabit mountain villages.
            This unusual operation, the first of its kind in the Syrian war, has three objectives:
            A. To shield the Druzes villages against ISIS attack from the east, namely Deir az-Zour.
            B. To shut the door against fleeing rebels seeking sanctuary in the Druze enclave.
            C. To show other Syrian minorities, especially the Kurds in the north, the great advantage of allying themselves with Moscow. Word of Russian protection of the Druzes has undoubtedly spread to Syria’s other minorities.
            As for the rebels and refugees, Jordanian troops moved into the border crossings evacuated by Syrian rebels and closed the last crossing at Ramtha.
            The exodus from southern Syria is now heading towards the Golan on Israel’s doorstep.
            Israel has imposed a media blackout on this development. However, DEBKAfile’s sources warn that it will soon be impossible to keep it dark. Within a few days, many thousands of Syrian refugees will be massing at Israel’s Ein Zivan gate opposite Quneitra. Like Turkey and Jordan, Israel will have to supply large numbers of distressed Syrian refugees with tents, food, water and medicines

            Comment


            • Re: Regional geopolitics

              Good strategy.....flooding the gates of Israel shows a backfire for the J3wish State.
              B0zkurt Hunter

              Comment


              • Re: Regional geopolitics

                Originally posted by Eddo211 View Post
                Good strategy.....flooding the gates of Israel shows a backfire for the J3wish State.
                My dear,
                do not necesserily beleive everything you read, specially when it is necessrily biased, and I suspect largely exagerated in this case....
                Arabs who flee to Israel is not a common scene...
                The merceneries and jihadis certainly, but refugees... it will be a first.
                I ask to see before I beleive.

                Just to remind: when south Lebanon was evacuated by Israel, after 2 decades of occupation with a proxy christian militia SLA, very few evacuated with the Israelis, apart known collaborators. In this case, it will be harder for a common arab citizen.

                Comment


                • Re: Regional geopolitics

                  Originally posted by Vrej1915 View Post
                  Rare balanced coverage in western media.

                  You providing us with "rare balanced coverage" is as likely as flying elephants.
                  Hayastan or Bust.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Regional geopolitics

                    Originally posted by Vrej1915 View Post
                    Russia air strikes seal Jebel Druze against attack and refugees
                    debka

                    While Syrian war reporting focused over the weekend on the battles around Aleppo and along the Turkish border in the north, Russia since Saturday, Feb. 20 has ramped up its air bombardment of southern cities and towns, especially Daraa and Nawa. Thousands of fleeing rebels with their families and other civilians have meanwhile been turned away from the locked Jordanian border and are heading towards the Golan opposite the Israeli border.
                    The heaviest Russian air strikes seen hitherto in Syria have two strategic goals.
                    1. To retake the key southern town of Daraa from rebel hands and restore it to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s full control.
                    2. To crush rebel resistance in the South and force them to accept surrender, collapse or escape in the direction of the Jordanian or Israeli borders.
                    The intense Russian sorties are opening the door to Syrian, Iranian and Hizballah forces to move into the South and reach the Israeli borders. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent Dr. Dore Gold to Moscow last week as his special emissary to explain how this affected Israel’s security. But he was unable to persuade the Russians to scale down their attacks in this sensitive border region.
                    Those attacks have a third goal, which is to encircle the Jebel Druze region with a “shield of fire” as protection for this ethnic minority of 750,000, most which inhabit mountain villages.
                    This unusual operation, the first of its kind in the Syrian war, has three objectives:
                    A. To shield the Druzes villages against ISIS attack from the east, namely Deir az-Zour.
                    B. To shut the door against fleeing rebels seeking sanctuary in the Druze enclave.
                    C. To show other Syrian minorities, especially the Kurds in the north, the great advantage of allying themselves with Moscow. Word of Russian protection of the Druzes has undoubtedly spread to Syria’s other minorities.
                    As for the rebels and refugees, Jordanian troops moved into the border crossings evacuated by Syrian rebels and closed the last crossing at Ramtha.
                    The exodus from southern Syria is now heading towards the Golan on Israel’s doorstep.
                    Israel has imposed a media blackout on this development. However, DEBKAfile’s sources warn that it will soon be impossible to keep it dark. Within a few days, many thousands of Syrian refugees will be massing at Israel’s Ein Zivan gate opposite Quneitra. Like Turkey and Jordan, Israel will have to supply large numbers of distressed Syrian refugees with tents, food, water and medicines
                    --- thousands of fleeing *rebels* with their families (and) other civilians ---
                    Note the "rebels" are not given status as terrorists, (but) are afforded the status as refugees.
                    Also, before Russian intervention , what were the "THOUSANDS" of rebels doing in the communities they were occupying -- AND --- who was supplying them with weapons,ammo,etc.
                    Again I say ... This revolt in Syria was planned and facilitated by west/sood/yahood prior to the chaos we are seeing.
                    What has happened and is happening in Syria is identicle to (1) Ukraine, (2) Iraq, (3) Libya, etc.
                    --- identicle ---
                    All introduced by the richest,most powerful countries in the world.
                    Destruction and instability to all who don't cooperate with the dominant world banking elite.
                    Nothing more.
                    HARK

                    Comment


                    • Re: Regional geopolitics



                      Syrian government supply route to Aleppo still cut as fierce clashes continue
                      By Leith Fadel -
                      23/02/2016

                      Monday, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) and Jund Al-Aqsa (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) successfully repelled a pair of counter-attacks launched by the Syrian government forces in order to reopen their only supply route to the Aleppo Governorate. Despite recapturing a number of points along the Khanasser-Ithriyah Road, the Syrian Arab Army’s Republican Guard and Special Forces were unable to recapture the most important villages under ISIS’ control, which has left them unable to reopen this supply route.

                      With Jund Al-Aqsa in full control of Rasm Al-Nafal; and ISIS in full control of Hawaz, Shillalah Al-Saghirah, Raheeb, and Rawayheeb, the Syrian Arab Army has been forced to split up their units in order to combat the extremists wrecking havoc along Khanasser-Ithriyah Road. According to sources from the pro-government Palestinian militia “Liwaa Al-Quds” (Jerusalem Brigade), the Syrian Armed Forces should have the Khanasser-Ithriyah Road open in 48 hours, as they have the extremists flanked between a small parcel of land that occupies a number of points along the Syrian government’s only supply route to Aleppo.

                      The disruption of this imperative supply route to the Aleppo Governorate, marks the 2nd time in 5 months that ISIS has been able to cutoff Khanasser-Ithriyah Road – the 1st time was in October 2015.

                      https://www.almasdarnews.com/article...shes-continue/ | Al-Masdar News

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