"The post came amid circulating rumors that a major part of fighters of militant groups involved in the Turkish Operation Euphrates Shield has been redeploying from northern Aleppo to northern Hama via the Turkish territory. These fighters will allegedly participate in the ongoing HTS-led offensive.
However, there were no independent confirmation this and no ACV-15 vehicles were spotted at the Hama battlefield yet. Step News Agency’s photos are the only evidence of such a move and the geolocation of photos are not clear.
If the rumors are confirmed, this will mean that Ankara decided to increase its support to militants in Syria amid no progress in the Astana talks and the Turkish inability to achieve its own goals in the country via diplomatic means." Southfront
If this picture really shows a Turkish made ACV-15 fighting vehicle in the jihadi led offensive north of Hama City, then the case is stronger for Turkish government duplicity in supporting an offensive south out of the rebel redoubt that is Idlib Province. In the past the Turkish government has transported rebel fighters from their lodgment north of Al-Bab to Hatay Province by roads north of their border with Syria.
If this is what has occurred, then it is likely that the Astana talks are just a blind for Turkish government strategems intended to help the jihadis and other rebels defeat the Syrian Government. pl
You’re absolutely right and it’s clear as daylight
Extremely heavy fighting all day. Tremendous amount of ammo and missiles used…. two truck bombs of 3000 and 5000kgs used to n avail in breaking certain lines…. Turkey IS fully and up to its neck on this one
I’m talking about a locality called Qamhana … twelve consecutive attacks, a thousand killers used, Tajiks, Pashtouns and other foreign Takfiris… to No avail….
Word on the 2nd pic is that it was made in al-Rai, way up north from al-Bab on the Turkish border with Aleppo-/Halab-province.
The “opposition”-outlet STEP News isn’t exactly known for accurate, unbiased reportage, so they might have picked that footage just to create the impression that Türkiye is with them. On the other hand, some fellow there may just have thought it looked grand with that mandate-flag on display and not have known to tell one armored vehicle from another.
Most villages checkpoints are manned with 20 to 30 NDF soldiers with 1 or 2 tank and one BMP. Not well equipped and well trained.But it’s not important as they are there to slow down djihadist attacks and then retreat to more robust defence lines.
SAA has air power and artillery.Tiger force and other well trained forces arrived and so far offensive has stopped.
About 80 raids today,( syraf + ruaf ) the meat grinder is open.
Djihadists entered Qamhama, but without reinforcement,surrounded by SAA and then killed.
There will be no green buses.
I hope I’m not jumping the gun here but it looks like the R+6 has another opportunity here to turn a jihadi offensive into a meat grinder. You can see the shape of the bulge forming. Ramouse comes to mind.
Make crucial advances east then absorb and turn the inevitable Idlib offensive into a meat grinder seems to have been the game plan of R+6. If the head-choppers barge into Hama city proper than we know it was a huge mistake, but if they are stopped and pushed back…
Red Cloud et al
you have convinced me. This is a great opportunity. pl
RC et al
Yes, they should kill ALL these guys (no quarter), reposition and attack Idlib from Aleppo City (main attack) and the west. pl
Thinking about Vietnam Afghanistan ect. In Vietnam USSR backed north and won. In Afghanistan USSR got drawn into a trap and lost.
Russia is the successor state to USSR.
Syria. On Russia’s entry into Syria, Obama stated it would be another Afghanistan for Russia.
Ever tried trapping an old dog? Literally. They are very wary. Some impossible to trap. Need to track them to their watering hole in dry times and wait for them to come in. Might be a couple of weeks before they come back to that watering point.
Theirry Meyssan has an article here on a large amount of concrete being used in ‘rebel’ held areas of Syria for defences. I have no idea if there is anything in this or not.
Red cloud’s scenario sound very plausible.
IMO this offensive is too late. Tiger force has achieved his mission in east Aleppo, stop the turkos and reopen water tap for Aleppo.
And free to reinforce troops in Hama CS
Maybe turkos expected that ISIS resistance will last more time ? Or to drag Tiger Force to military confrontation near Manjib ?
It seems also that SAA was well aware of this coming offensive, in fact Syrian Air Force Intelligence ,but ….to be confirmed.
Sir, I can be wrong, but IMO Idlib can be attacked only after supply line is cut. Jisr Ash Shogur and Bab Al Hawa crossing should come first.
I wouldn’t give much credence to these rumors personally, the Turks although being demonstrably duplicitous to the nth degree, are often the target of sensational blame-game campaigns by Syrian government suporters as regards to the latter’s many shortcomings,as an easily explainable “catch all”. Turks wouldn’t be so foolish to pull of such mess after their failure around Al Bab, not to mention that HTS seems to be leading this operation, a moderate(heh heh) group far more affiliated with the gulfies than it is with the Turks-to my understanding the main pro-turk camp among the idlibite moderates is Ahrar Al Sham-which seems to have entirely stayed out of this offensive,maybe sending a few dozen soldiers as a token force in the initial 48 hrs when progress was seen(to avoid being seen as complete “traitors”)
“they should kill ALL these guy”
That should help. They deserve it.
That said, good luck, good health and good rehabilitation to those wounded in the London terror act by attacker Masood.
Rehabilitation of wounds, physical or psychic, takes time. I am still in hospital under the week for an acident I had last january. Fortunately, having seen a lot of other patients and heard their story, I notice that fortunately I had considerable luck in my misfortune.
I read that Masood was shot by cops after he entered the parliament. Sadly, only so late. Also sad is that the cops now cannot interogate this creature what his rampage was about.
The Independence speculates that Masood’s radicalisation process probably began when he went to work as an English teacher in Saudi Arabia in 2005.
Now that’d be a surprise – who could have ever thought, after 9/11, that the Saudis could or would produce murderous creatures of Masood type in dozens?
As if that wasn’t bad enough, interestingly IS has claimed responsibility for the London amok rampage. That bragging, in combination with the Sudia Arabia speculation, makes for a telling if ill combination.
I also read that, unusually, british state secretary Tobias Ellwood provided first health support to one of the cops wounded by Masood in the parliament. The cop apparently survived thanks to that help. May he recover well. And congrats to Mr. Ellwood – it was a good deed done well.
Happy sunday by the way.
In my (very amateurish) opinion, the prime opportunity to do that was during the heavy infighting occurring throughout February 2017, with a very significant contingent(actually,the entire salient from Morek down), pledging allegiance to IS. Hundreds of rebels of all stripes were killed in a few days(disproportionately HTS and AAS. Gulfie/turk-backed HTS and Ahrar were in all out war with the entire salient until a deal was supposedly negotiated to stop the bloodshed(it was obvious that the splinter JAA guys were dead serious and wouldn’t be budged without a bloodbath of apocalyptic proportions-for the idlibites,occuring). A couple thousand members of this IS splinter group controlling morek down, being guaranteed safe passage to IS areas(no idea how they were supposed to reach those areas,very unclear to me,perhaps through Khanaser-Ithraya which seems to be no-mans land half of the time)
confusedponderer said in reply to turcopolier…
The Independence speculates that Masood’s radicalisation process probably began when he went to work as an English teacher in Saudi Arabia in 2005.”
and yet, SA is not included for entry visa restriction to the US!!!! go figure!!! Does 2+2 not add to 4 in the USA????
if the intent is to shut down terrorism, then shut down SA. if the intent is to continue the flawed FP approach of the last few decades, sadly, there will be many more innocent harmed every where.
Further to the ‘walking through walls’ or ‘aboveground tunneling’ tactic, from Patrick Cockburn’s March 24 report “Isis’ Losses in Syria and Iraq Will Make It Harder for It to Recruit”
Iraqi forces are stalled and suffering heavy casualties in their assault on the last Isis fighters defending close-packed buildings in the Old City of Mosul. Civilian loss of life is very high as US aircraft, Iraqi helicopters and artillery, try to target Isis strong points in a small area in which at least 300,000 civilians are trapped and unable to reach safety.
Isis fighters shoot at government troops from houses and then escape quickly through holes they have ordered people to cut in the walls of their homes, leaving them to face retaliatory fire. In a single district of Mosul this week 237 civilians were killed by air strikes, including 120 of them in one house, according to a Kurdish news agency.
That explains the high civilian count, and why it took some time for the Iraqis/US to realize so many civilians were being killed. Obviously they’ve now figured it out, but what they’re going to do as a counter-tactic I haven’t a guess. It’s the closely packed houses that allow extensive aboveground tunneling. I’ll assume the residential quarters are just as packed together in Raqqa.
Another point of interest from Cockburn’s report:
“I cannot think of a single successful armed opposition offensive in Syria which was not led by suicide bombers,” a military expert told me in Damascus last year. This article is being written in Irbil 50 miles east of Mosul where there were no less than 600 attacks by men driving vehicles packed with explosives in the first six weeks of the Iraqi government offensive that began on 17 October last year.
I don’t know how many Kamikaze the Japanese mustered for WW2 but 100 suicide attacks per week ain’t hay. And LWJ Bill Roggio has mentioned to Batchelor recently that there is a new style of terrorist fighter emerging in A’stan, where the suiciders are highly trained special forces types (rather than ‘cannon fodder’) who’re meant to fight their way into, say, a military compound and only then blow themselves up. This way they can narrowly target rather than relying on the scattershot bombing approach.
As to Cockburn’s allover argument in his report — I have no idea whether he’s right or not. I do know that it’s folly not to respect the enemy’s capacity for adapting.
If ISIS considers one of its goals to be to terrorise Western publics and to build up its own legend as a source of fear and terror, then ISIS would take credit for terrifying actions whether it had anything to do with them or not.
If this Mr. Masood came through the Saudi jihadi mill, then his inspiration could be more al qaeda than ISIS. It just goes to show that both need countering, and that Jihadi Arabia needs its revenue streams attrited and dried up to nothing, so that its reach and influence will also dry up to nothing. That would be a long range project over many years.
I notice that the American public has not yet demanded that the various petro-states of Jihadi Arabia be added to the travel ban. And I notice that the Trump Team has not yet tried guiding public perception to create such a demand.
There is still time for predictions of Trump-Hannon intentions to extend the ban to Jihadi Arabia to come true.
“Isis’ Losses in Syria and Iraq Will Make It Harder for It to Recruit”
ISIS isn’t that much a persuasion force. They also focus on coercion a lot.
They don’t just recruit but also kidnap, and teach or force youngfolk they hold in prison to fight for them. They make them kill folks so they’ll ‘get hard’.
They are a sick pack. Likely the middle east ill be safer without this scum.
very true. Trump admin has their hands full to add SA to the mix. The US civil war is yet to peak. However, in the long run can’t see the Trump admin siding with SA. Can’t imagine Trump going over to SA and bend over to kiss the hand of the king of terrorism, ala obama, bush, et al.
The establishment (+media), on the other hand, is a different story.
2/3 of Saudi Sovereign Fund monies are invested in the United States. US will do nothing against the Saudi Arabian government.
In the mean-time, a court in Luxembourg has impounded 1.6 billion Euros of Central Bank of Iran fund at US behest.
I wonder how much of the advanced and well-thought-out strategy and tactics shown by ISIS come from Bitter Baathist and Legacy Saddamist training and leadership. I think I understand by now that ISIS is self-identified and somewhat free-standing in its own right.
Still, what I read about residential houses retreated-from in Mosul being absolutely filled up with all kinds of cross-triggering multi-layered booby traps as well as setting oil wells on fire to create a smoke screen reminds me of Saddam-Baathist inspiration and thinking as shown at the oil wells of Kuwait.
If the ISIStas are all killed and the Bitter Baathists mostly survive, they will bide their time and look for a way to create an ISIS 2.0 and try conquering historic Sunni Arab Baathistan all over again. The only way to prevent that would be for the Iran Government to force the Shia Supremacist government in Baghdad to make a very fair deal with the Sunni Arab Anbari people and tribes.
Since Iran prefers a weak and helpless Iraq as a buffer which can’t challenge Iran’s own power, Iran will not force the Baghdad ShiaGov to settle with the Anbaris.
So in 5 or 10 years we will go through another version of the same thing all over again. Which suits the Islamic Republic of Iran just fine.
I suspect some think like that although it really belies a complete and total lack of understanding as to how the global financial markets work. Saudi Arabia is meaningless in the sense of total world capital, China and Japan own more US treasuries and Russia produces more oil (and a good deal more of everything else too). If the Saudis sold all their holdings, they are having to at the moment anyway, then a pension fund or private investor will buy it, for the right price. Perhaps there is some inertia as these are our clients now and we can’t risk having to find new ones, but I don’t think that explains it. I think Saudi influence comes more from targeted expenditures on weapons, money for the CIA for Syria, ‘donations’ to think tanks and politicians etc. Unfortunately I think the rest of the world has looked at how the Israel lobby works in DC and has decided to copy that template. I suppose there is also the inertia of Saudi Arabia is our big ally now, so why change it. However economically speaking I am far more interested in Russia and Iran than I am Saudi Arabia.
Thank you for your comments.
I agree with you in regards to the relatively small size of Saudi investments in US, in comparison to those of UK or Japan. I only meant to indicate that they have influence – which you have indicated.
In regards to Israel Lobby, it is a religious sentiment that hold sway over the minds of many of the electorate in US and in UK and in France and elsewhere; it is a semi-religion, really, and Israelis do not have to spend money to nurture it or maintain it.
“Jihadi Arabia needs its revenue streams attrited and dried up to nothing, so that its reach and influence will also dry up to nothing. That would be a long range project over many years.”
That’ll take a couple years.
That said, keep in mind that 15 of the 19 9/11 murderers were Saudi citizens – so it’ll also be unpleasant: As a good start, it will involve eventually kicking the Saudis in their balls. After that, the Saudis will ‘uninvest’ in the US for retaliation; Saudi sponsored groups probably will attack US targets for retaliation.
With 9/11 in mind, I never understood why Saudi Arabia was not listed as a not-from-place in Trump’s two travel ban decrees.
Given what the Saudis are known to have done, it isn’t so that the they are a clean, sober and gentle folk. Apparently someone had the idea to not piss the Saudis off or have them, say, spend their money elsewhere etc. pp. …
The Saudis have trials in secret courts and corporal punishment, they execute publicly and apparently don’t have a problem with violence – as long as it doesn’t hit Saudis; they’re some quite unpleasant folks.