""The Syrian army regained control of the historic town of Tadmur (Palmyra) with small weapons," a Syrian brigadier-general told Sputnik. Thus, he emphasized that the town was taken without air assistance." Sputnik
As ISIS has itself pressured on several front in Syria, the Iraqi Army is preparing an offensive to finally recapture the 2nd largest city in Iraq, Mosul. Mosul is home to some 3 million residents and such, the city represents ISIS’ most important base in all of Iraq. The video below covers all you need to know about the last few days of battles across Syria and Iraq, including the Islamic State’s skirmishes with the Syrian Arab Army, the Iraqi Army and Kurdish militants. Our partners from www.SouthFront.org have the story covered:
The video embedded in the Al-Masdar piece is quite worthwhile. It is a general briefing on present events across North Arabia.
IMO it is now clear that rather than concentrate forces for a concentric battle to clear Idlib Province and the remaining rebel held parts of Aleppo City, the R+6 allies are embarked on a far more adventurous and risky scheme.
With the continuing support of Russian and Syrian air the main effort at present seems to be to re-capture Palmyra and then to link up with the long embattled Syrian forces encircled at Deir az-Zor on the Euphrates. If that can be accomplished then an advance on Raqqa seems likely. Possible lines of advance would be NW from the Deir az-Zor area and from Palmyra going east and then turning north at Sukhna. An additional axis of advance from the west on Tabqa might complete the effort. IMO the possibilities in such an campaign are somewhat limited by the length of the LOCs across the desert and the fairly small number of ground combat units available. The long lines of supply would have to be protected to keep supply moving and pushed well forward behind the spearheads. With regard to the limited number of ground fighters, it should be noted that it was necessary to transfer the SAA Tiger Forces brigade to the Palmyra axis of advance and to bring to the same axis the Syrian Marine Regiment from northern Lattakia where it was well employed. IMO these movements would not have been necessary if ground forces assets were not quite thin on the ground.
At the same time the Iraqi Army and its Shia militia allies are making sounds that declare a willingness to advance to Mosul. Since the Iranians are involved at various levels with both the Syrian and Iraqi forces it seems likely that they may be coordinating these plans. pl