4 december 2016 in Aleppo


"On December 3, Syrian government forces broke the militant defense line in the northern part of eastern Aleppo pocket and secured significant areas west of the Aleppo International Airport. The Syrian army set a full control over Tareeq al-Bab and al-Myassar Jazmati neighborhoods and seized a number of points in Sheikh Lutfi. Government attacks in Seikh Saeed that the army and its allies had lost to militants few days ago. However, this operation didn’t result in gains.

On December 4, the army and its allies continued advances against Jaish al-Fatah militants in the northern and southern parts of eastern Aleppo pocket. At the same time, reports appeared that Syrian engineers are working to restore the Ramouseh-Sheikh Saeed road in order to ease troop movement and supply delivers for the advancing government forces in the area.

The Syrian military sees constant pressure on militant forces on multiple fronts in Aleppo city as an important task because this allows pro-government forces to exploit Jaish al-Fatah’s lack of manpower.

The army keeps two options to split the remaining Aleppo pocket into separate parts as it has been done previously:

  • To advance from al-Myassar Jazmati to the Aleppo Citadel
  • To advance from Sheikh Lufti to the Aleppo Citadel

Local sources report that the recent developments destroyed Jaish al-Fatah’s fighting spirit and motivated Syrian troops for offensive operations. Nonetheless, nobody in the Syrian and Russian command staff expect an easy win in the coming days."  AMN


Well, pilgrims,  the Rooshans and Suriyeen are saying the right things, but I think the Aleppo battle will end in the next couple of weeks.

From the map it would seem that R+6 agrees with SST tactical analysis.

The jihadis refuse to leave Aleppo?  Well, shucks!  Good.  A lot more of the rats will die there.  pl


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28 Responses to 4 december 2016 in Aleppo

  1. The Russians are wise to let the Syrian Air Force take the lead in Aleppo along with the SAA. The coming victory there will be a Syrian victory and will serve as a strong unifying element in the still developing new Syrian armed forces.

  2. turcopolier says:

    Agree, but the role being played by the Lebanese Hizbullah and the Iraqi Hizbullah is impressive as well. If I were the Izzies I would be be worried about the fighting quality being shown by the Liwa al-Quds Palestinian brigade. Someone here wrote that Mattis is a new Patton. Could be, but I nominate Suheil the commander of the SAA Tiger forces brigade for that honor. pl

  3. pl,
    You are absolutely right. The Izzies should be pissing in their boots about the prospect of facing Hizbullah and their battle hardened allies in the future. With Russian help, they are closing the technological gap as well. I would add that big burly SOB who’s been leading the defense of Deir ez Zor for all this time to the list of new Pattons. The eventual lifting of that siege will be another victory on the scale of Aleppo.

  4. Prem says:

    According to PetoLucem (who is usually rather cautious), the loyalists are now about 500m east of the citadel. The pocket between the citadel and Hanano base may fall in a matter of hours. FWIW, his map is here:

  5. Lemur says:

    With Aleppo and (hopefully) East Ghouta deloused by the time Trump is inaugurated, enough loyalist forces will be freed up for a full scale assault on ISIS in Syria backed up by the RuAF. I’m no military expert but I’m guessing ISIS doesn’t want to fight a two front war anymore than Germany did. A 1-2 punch like that could decisively relegate ISIS to a non territorial entity like the traditional organization of Al Qaeda (its probably too much to hope ISIS will just dissipate at the ideational level as well).
    Trump will garner enormous political capital defeating a common enemy, his cooperative approach to Russia will have rendered concrete results (discrediting the neocons), and thanks to a joint “Pax Amerarussia”, the US can step back from the ME leaving Syria and Iraq stabilized pillars of a new security order. Russian mediation between the Saudi Israeli vs Shiite dyad should keep the lid on hawkish behavour by either side, and if Trump is wise, he’ll be delivering the same message to Bibi and the Saudi kings.

  6. turcopolier says:

    Yes, having fought surrounded, I can only admire the “pluck” as it used to be called of those people at Deir al-Zor. pl

  7. Lemur says:

    And if and when Assad regains control of most of Syria, I’ll very interested to observe the formation of a ‘New Model Army’

  8. visitor says:

    Other bases have been in a similar situation, with sieges lasting years. Kuweires, for instance, had been surrounded by Daesh for over 2 years before being relieved in November 2015 (Wikipedia states that “only 300 out of 1,100 soldiers survived the siege of the airbase”).
    In other cases, Al Qaeda or Daesh surrounded and then overran Syrian army bases despite a fierce and long resistance by the defenders — who were promptly put to death when captured (e.g. Abu al-Duhur, Menagh, Al-Tabqa).
    Pluck, yes. Those besieged soldiers know that it is victory or death — quite literally.

  9. BraveNewWorld says:

    I hope after the fall of Aleppo they decide to take some of the freed up man power and reconnect Deir al-Zor to the rest of the world. They must feel like they are on another planet, even more so than Kuweires did.

  10. Thirdeye says:

    Corroborated. The entire Jihadist position north of the airport road is collapsing.
    Little to no change elsewhere on the NE-SE arc that was under attack earlier. What it looks like from my non-expert view is the Jihadis still able to defend the old fortified perimeter but the loyalists able to run amuck once it is breached.

  11. Chris Chuba says:

    Someone had posted a military study of the Russian sieges of Grozny in 1994 and 1999 in one of these threads. Basically, the Russians learned from their mistakes in the first one and improved their tactics for the second. If that person is reading this thread I’d appreciate it if they would repost that link. I couldn’t find it in the search.
    I wonder if the Russians passed along some of their lessons to the rest of R+6. The SAA, Hezbollah, IRGC, and others have certainly acquired their own skills while the Israelis have not actually fought a serious ground war for some time now. There is no reason to have another war, so I hope it doesn’t come to that. I thought it was a mistake for the Israelis to be taking pot shots at Hezbollah while they were fighting in Syria. It was pointless. It’s not like they would be able to destroy them, the only thing it did was to create even more bad blood.

  12. Thirdeye says:

    I find myself wondering how events would have been different had the election gone the other way. The way I had gamed it out, there would have been a push to create new facts on the ground had Hillary won. As it turned out, the pace picked up regardless. Trump right now looks to me like a lucky guy who can bask in the reflected glory of the R+6 gains against the various rodents while in fact they were going to occur anyway while the President-elect could only watch. Hillary would have been sworn in with her entire Syria strategy dating back to 2010 looking like roadkill.

  13. turcopolier says:

    IMO the R+6 will drive forward astride the airport road until the citadel area is reached. they will then make a concentric attack on the area south of the airport road to eliminate the remainder of the pocket. the elimination of the pocket north of the airport road is the result of unrelenting pressure in th last few days. Once this kesselschlacht is completed Idlib Province will be next with heavy emphasis on not allowing the rats to escape to Hatay. pl

  14. robt willmann says:

    Chris Chuba,
    I think this is the article about the study of the Russian battles at Grozny you mentioned–

  15. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Any comments on WaPo‘s lead article on Sunday, 12/4?
    Fearing abandonment by Trump, CIA-backed rebels in Syria mull alternatives
    Excerpts from the article (emphasis added):
    Three years after
    the CIA began secretly shipping lethal aid
    to rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,
    battlefield losses and fears that a Donald Trump administration will abandon them
    have left tens of thousands of opposition fighters weighing their alternatives.
    Among the options, say U.S. officials, regional experts and the rebels themselves, are

    • a closer alliance with better-armed al-Qaeda and other extremist groups,
    • receipt of more sophisticated weaponry from Sunni states in the Persian Gulf region opposed to a U.S. pullback, and
    • adoption of more traditional guerrilla tactics,
      including sniper and other small-scale attacks on both Syrian and Russian targets.

    The possibility of cutting loose opposition groups it has vetted, trained and armed
    would be a jolt to a CIA
    already unsettled by the low opinion of U.S. intelligence capabilities that Trump had expressed during his presidential campaign.
    From a slow and disorganized start,
    the opposition “accomplished many of the goals the U.S. hoped for,”
    including their development into a credible fighting force that showed signs of pressuring Assad into negotiations,
    had Russia not begun bombing and Iran stepped up its presence on the ground,
    said one of several U.S. officials who discussed the situation on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
    The United States estimates that there are 50,000 or more fighters it calls “moderate opposition,”
    concentrated in the northwest province of Idlib, in Aleppo and in smaller pockets throughout western and southern Syria,
    and that they are not likely to give up.
    “They’ve been fighting for years, and they’ve managed to survive,”
    the U.S. official said.
    “Their opposition to Assad is not going to fade away.”

  16. turcopolier says:

    This article from WaPo is essentially a CIA press release. Opposition won’t go away? So what! Once the back of the resistance as a fighting force is broken they can do all the guerrilla stuff that they want. they will be pursued all over the country by the men who won the war. pl

  17. robt willmann says:

    I agree very much, and if Aleppo is cleared, then one minute afterwards, R+6 should launch a real effort to free up Dayr az Zawr, or Deir ez-Zor (or however it is spelled), and then race east to the border of Iraq, and sweep south from that horizontal line down to the border of Iraq to the south. I have been repeating myself about this so much that I am sounding like the crazy uncle in the attic.
    But such an action would get the very important oil and gas pipelines in that area under Syrian control, and gain control of the Euphrates River all the way to the Iraq border. Yes, there are oilfields between Tadmur going northeast to Raqqa, but the pipelines are the big thing. This will avoid sabotage of the pipelines and remove any temptation for Donald Trump to revive his silly campaign talk about “getting the oil”, as if it was nothing more than seizing collateral in a business dispute or after a margin call by a stock brokerage in stock or “securities” trading.

  18. Peter in Toronto says:

    The newly liberated parts of Aleppo now contain the alleged residence of the PSY-OP operation masquerading as a little, innocent girl in Syria, carefully reporting the atrocities of Assad’s forces and Putin himself, and featured prominently in Western mass media dissemination sources. Bana’s Twitter account has gone inactive as of today.
    Her account was also linked to State Department and several notable Western journalists… Strange proclivities for a 8-year old girl…

  19. Chris Chuba says:

    Thank you robt,
    I know that Putin had diplomatic reasons but I wonder if they remembered their own lesson on this one …
    1. no ceasefires
    Grozny 2000“The military did not permit moratoriums or ceasefires, which they said allowed the Chechens to regroup and resupply in the first battle for the city.”
    2. Equipment shortcomings
    Re-reading this, I can definitely see a pattern to how they have upgraded their heavy equipment after Grozny, especially their tanks, armored personnel carriers, and thermobaric artillery. The Syrians have obviously learned about the need to upgrade their T-72 tanks.
    3. troop rotations
    This is the one that made the biggest impression on me the first time I read it …
    “The psychological impact of high intensity urban combat is so intense that you should maintain a large reserve that will allow you to rotate units in and out of combat. If you do this, you can preserve a unit for a fairly long time. If you don’t, once it gets used up, it can’t be rebuilt.”
    In Mosul, I cannot help but wonder if they are using their 80,000 troops effectively. Are they engaging ISIS and rotating in fresh troops or are they relying on a few front line troops, counting on air/artillery power, and have a bunch or guys policing the outskirts? I’m not there but nothing would surprises me anymore.
    4. the information war
    I think that this one is a work in progress 🙂
    “The Russians admitted that they lost control of the information coming out of Grozny early in the operation and never regained it, and vowed never again to lose the “information war.”.”
    Actually, the Russians can’t control the vast array of resources aligned against them but I have noticed that they are methodically documenting things as the go along, all the ceasefire violations, how many times they opened humanitarian corridors and imposed their own bombing moratoriums, their presentation on ISIS oil smuggling at the G24 summit, etc. They are not relying on the ‘independent press’ to notice these things on their own. The press still ignores them but they think there is value in accumulating a record.

  20. kgw says:

    “Trump will garner enormous political capital defeating a common enemy, his cooperative approach to Russia will have rendered concrete results (discrediting the neocons), and thanks to a joint “Pax Amerarussia”, the US can step back from the ME leaving Syria and Iraq stabilized pillars of a new security order.”
    That is some awfully strong stuff you’re smoking…Trump had nothing to do with the R +6 opening a can of nicely subtle and not so subtle whoop-ass on the strategies of both the US and the Eurozone.
    The US and the Eurozone will look like midget clowns coming out of one of those tiny cars in the circus as they claim any “credit.”

  21. Prem says:

    This was the last tweet:
    “I recharge my phone with solar panels and our agenda is just for Aleppo civilians like us evacuated from the battlefield. Nothing else.”
    Yep, that sounds like a 7-year-old to me. I was always explaining my “agenda” at that age.

  22. Lemur says:

    well its in Assad’s interest to have Trump smash ISIS in Iraq; so its not entirely a one way street.

  23. Lemur says:

    What do you think would have happened had Hillary got in? Russia wouldn’t have backed off, but global tensions would have skyrocketed, and the insurgency would have gained a guaranteed 4 more years of life. Merely by omission Trump is already contributing to the terrorist’s defeat .
    I doubt Russia has the inclination to take on the Iraq situation. Clearly, the Untied States is the only power capable of resolving the ISIS problem there, as Southfront admitted in their latest video analysis of the Mosul siege.
    You appear to be high on a supply known as the ‘Russia as the limitless anti-imperialist global problem solver’. Efficacious Russian influence has grown considerably in the ME since their Syrian Intervention, but this does not mean American power has diminished in absolute terms. Hence, Uncle Sam remains a powerful agent for good or ill in the region.

  24. Lemur says:

    It’s like all the eight years olds who began spouting hipster aphorisms of doom after Literally Hitler™ won the election.

  25. Ghostship says:

    During World War 2, the British ran a number of black propaganda radio stations against the Germans where they used a powerful RCA transmitter installed in south east England to broadcast the signal of fake illegal German military radio stations which mixed truth with propaganda. The best known of these was Gustav Siegfried Eins where the final transmission was the head of the station being interrupted by what were claimed to be Gestapo machine-guns and then being gunned down. The station was replaced by Soldatensender Calais.
    I wonder with Bana Alabed if someone in MI-6 dusted down the black propaganda radio station SOP and recycled it for the Twitter age.

  26. johnf says:

    Guy Burgess, I think, conceived of the idea and produced many of the early ones.
    Brian Howard, the original for Waugh’s Miles Malpractice, wrote several of them, including what is considered the best, which included a concentration camp.
    They used to hang out in the cellar of the Cafe Royale.

  27. Thirdeye says:

    I’ll grant that Hillary taking office after sputtering and fuming on the sidelines watching her pet project get destroyed for over two months would not be a good thing. But I think that would also be incentive for R+6 to bring the hammer down even harder.

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