Operation “Grand Dawn” Post 1


"On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies announced start of the Operation “Grand Dawn in eastern Syria. The aim of the operation is to expel militants from the eastern desert and to set a foothold for a push to Deir Ezzor. The declaration followed a major success of government forces in southeastern Homs where they had liberated about 5,000 km2 and got a full control over the Damascus-Palmyra highway.

ISIS deployed a force for a counter-attack but its formidable military convoy was fully destroyed by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force en route to the Zaza triangle area. Thus, the terrorist group defense lines just collapsed.
The government advance south of the Homs-Palmyra highway also allowed government forces to isolate Jaish al-Islam militants in eastern Qalamoun and to prevent their attempt to unite efforts with US-backed militant groups operating near the Syrian-Jordanian border"  southfront


To misquote "Old Blue Eyes,"  they're doing it their way.  It is hard to argue with this much success.  I would have gone for Idlib Province first but this is impressive.  the R+6 have now connected in one terrain mass all their previously separated road bound penetrations in the area from Damascus to Palmyra and beyond.  They seem intent on advancing to al tanf. 

This plus the declared intention of the Iraq PMU to advance to the Syria-Iraqi border would seem to put paid to US coalition plans for a redoubt base area for its FSA unicorns and assorted AQ type jihadis in the area astride the border triangle of Syria/Jordan/Iraq.

All of this is being assisted by the IS efforts to defend in the general Raqqa area.  To do this they are evidently withdrawing forces from the central desert of Syria.  The armored counterattack in this report was probably originally intended for dispatch to the Raqqa area but they were diverted to the counterattack and were destroyed by air attack out in the open desert.  Good.

Well, well, pilgrims …  what next?  pl  



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17 Responses to Operation “Grand Dawn” Post 1

  1. b says:

    The Tiger force is coming down from east Aleppo governate next to Lake Assad towards Palmyra. That will be the next big slice of ISIS held territory going back to Syrian government control. Those forces will come in touch with Kurdish/U.S. took the dam near Raqqa. I do not expect much of conflict there for now.
    In the south U.S. proxy “rebels” are attacking within the city of Deraa thereby breaking the ceasefire. They made some progress with the help of Nusra suicide bombers. The SAA needs to keep Deraa. Otherwise the whole south-west up to Damascus might fall to those U.S. proxies. Keep an eye on the area.
    The SAA wants to and will go to al-Tanf. It has to kick out the U.S. training bases for “rebels” that are “within Syria” (like two miles within) as a figleaf to justify them as “Syrian rebel force”. There are (at least) British, Norwegian and U.S. forces involved. The Jordanians declined to take part. It will need some heavy air threats from Russia to push the invaders out. There need to be no fight if the invaders leave peacefully. If they don’t there will be some massive clashes. The SAA has new self propelled howitzers. With their ability to change position within minutes they will be handy for the task.

  2. turcopolier says:

    IMO you are exactly right. pl

  3. Jack says:

    In the context of “mukhtar” Trump’s branding of Iran, and his apparent 3hr strategy session with Bibi that excluded McMaster but included Jared, do you think this invitation to NATO to take on ISIS is a ruse for regime change in Syria? Or do you think what was said in Riyadh and Tel Aviv were mere words, malleable to the occasion?

  4. Peter AU says:

    “Well, well, pilgrims … what next?”
    NATO. It seems the only reason NATO has been drawn into the coalition, is because Russia is too successful in Syria. With US generals in charge of NATO, can it be used to draw Europe into a pushback against Russia in Syria?
    apart from the few assertions from the white house appointees some time ago that they are prepared to act unilateraly, the US does like to share the blame around for any of its moves.

  5. turcopolier says:

    “a ruse for regime change in Syria?” I am missing something. That is already our policy. pl

  6. Lemur says:

    There are renewed battles going on down south in the desert against the FSA too. I think we’ll see another massive capture of territory when that goldfish bowl shaped salient controlled by the FSA is pressed on multiple fronts

  7. Barbara Ann says:

    Avoids brand-tainting: “NATO’s failure to remove Assad” sounds so much better.

  8. Farmer Don says:

    Col, and guests please excuse my ignorance.
    I browse this site every day, and see examples of the US working WITH Russia to hit Isis and to make sure aircraft don’t fight each other.
    Then I see the US wants to make an area for the “moderate rebels” in Syria, as well as hit the Syrian Army as a target.
    My question is:
    If the USA had completely withdrawn from the war when Trump became President, would Assad be in better or worse shape then he is now?

  9. elaine says:

    Colonel, “what next?” Maybe the Norwegian battalion/company will move south & confront the “assorted AQ type jihadis in the area astride the border triangle of Syria/Jordan/Iraq”.
    I’m prepared to be ridiculed; am I even in the ball park? Who’s on 1st? I’m still trying to understand South Front’s color coded maps while remembering info from a few
    days back. I don’t know how many Norwegians are near the Lebanon border.

  10. Heros says:

    I wonder whether those Norwegian troops have figured out yet that they are now the trip wire for WWIII.
    As the SAA approaches the Euphrates and al Tanf, and before they can unite with the Iraqi’s, there will be a major escalation. Putin and Assad have certainly been warned. I would suspect that a suicide bomber attack against the Norwegans would not suffice. Claiming Syria gassed (sarin) al Tanf would be a hard sell. I would bet a Scud or similar large rocket barrage with loads of gory photos across the west with propaganda like “remember the Telemark”.
    One false flag that is primed and ready to explode are the insinuations that Putin assassinated Seth Rich for leaking the fact that he was working for Putin to hack the election. Its coming, and it will really piss Vlad off.
    I think a big Nato goal is to bottle up the Russian black sea fleet in the black sea. This would necessitate a state of war, or close to it, between Turkey and Russia. My guess is that they don’t have to offer what Erdogan wants to bribe him, so once again there will have to be a major false flag.
    Finally, there is Israel, Golan, and thousand of USN cruise missles off shore of Syria.
    One thing I am certain of is that Al Tanf will not simply be taken by Syria without major blow back.

  11. alba etie says:

    “Meet the new boss same as the old boss .”
    Wonder if BiBi told the Mukthar Donald after
    Damascus our next ” excellent adventure”
    will be in Tehran ?

  12. Barbara Ann says:

    The meeting of SAA and SDF forces at al-Thawrah will be very interesting as an indication of their future relationship in NE Syria.
    At al-Tanf, rather than a direct assault, do you not think we are more likely to see attempts to eventually surround the place (on the Syrian side)? At their current rate of progress it looks possible that the SAA could be within reach the Iraqi border east of al-Tanf before too long. This would cut off the FSA from Daesh and immediately end their stated mission. The R+6 would then thank the US for its assistance and loudly signal that it is no longer required. Any attempt to draw NATO forces in on a pretext to fighting Daesh on that front would thereafter be a transparent lie.

  13. Ghostship says:

    I’m wondering if the SDF/YPG have listened to all the stupid stuff from the State Department, etc. about how their alliance with the US is only temporary and disposable and have done a deal with the R+6 to wait until the SAA arrives to take Raqqa together. The SAA has a real interest in taking Raqqa while the SDF/YPG is only doing it for the Americans, perhaps they’ve decided to do it for themselves as part of an autonomy deal with Assad.

  14. jonst says:

    Well, my question would be if the”….USA had completely withdrawn from the war…..” would WE, the USA, be in better or worse shape.
    We just don’t seem very bright about the ME anymore. Or, the bright people have little or no influence over matters. Demsey and Gates were the last ones I trusted.

  15. Former 11B says:

    Better I would think. Seems obvious, quit giving TOWS to jihadists and the war is over.

  16. aleksandar says:

    Seems we are back to some more ” classical” warfare. Troops advancing on the ground, CAS by helicos and hight level protection by interceptors.
    I have noted that lot of comments event from Syrian sources were upset by the huge level of helicos engaged in this battle.
    My tactical question for now is what will SSA do on the next phase. Seems that T3 airbase is the ongoing objective.
    And then ? My guess ( I can be wrong ) is that SAA will first push to conquer Al Bukamal. Bypass Al Sukhnan that is a big nut to crack, heavily fortified with two concentric lines of defense. It wil delay Der ez Zor liberation for 1 or 2 month at least.
    Al Bukamal ont the other hand will allow SA to link up with PMU, increase manpower and go on offensive along an Al Bukamal – Der ez Zor axis, liberating Mayadin first.
    This course of action wille relieve ISIS pression on Der ez Zor due to this new front.
    Anglozionist plan of partionning this part of Syria will be dead on the spot.
    After encircling Maskanah ,Tiger Forces will let Kurds deal with Raqquah, bypass them and attack Der ez Zor from the north.
    Between Maskanah and Der ez Zor there is absolutly nothing that can prevent Tiger Forces to progress and conquer very fast.
    That done, ISIS remnants wil be trapped inside a big desert cauldron, cut off from logistical support and bound to die, the sooner, the better

  17. Barbara Ann says:

    Someone called Ohil has provided a nice graphic of this idea in one of the comments here:
    His black circle looks about right:

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