Syria/Iraq Overview – 5 April 2016


Syria – R+6 has clearly opted for a strategy that prioritizes the liberation of eastern Homs Governorate along the line Palmyra-Sukhna-Deir az-Zor and then an expansion of government control north to Raqqa.  There is a fair amount of gas and oil out in the desert and the prospective prize in terms of dead jihadis is high but the over riding consideration is political and diplomatic with a view t coming parliamentary elections and the talks in Geneva.  the Assad Administration has no intention of surrendering power to a collection of rebels favored by the US and is inclined to believe that re-conquest of the vast eastern deserts will increase its bargaining power in the effort to reach an accommodation with the non-jihadi opposition.  At present the SAA is seeking to broaden the "shoulders" of the salient that they hold leading to Palmyra from the west.  SAA forces are pushing north and south to push IS back away from the main LOC to Palmyra.  This is clearly in preparation for the next phase of the campaign goals in the east.  While this is occurring the R+6 alliance appear to have adopted an economy of force posture for the rest of the country, restricting its activities to: minor offensive action, defending against rebel attacks, and counterattacking to re-gain ground lost to local jihadi efforts to reverse the present situation in which they have lost the initiative to the government.  The one exception to that government policy seems to be in the East Ghouta farmland outside Damascus.  The pocket of land held there by the rebels is evidently too much of a nuisance to be further endured and government forces have encircled a sizable piece of ground with a view to eliminating it.  The Nusra , IS and non jihadi FSA (unicorns) are inadvertently cooperating with the R+6 by fighting with each other all over western Syria.  This is quite helpful for the government as its forces and those of its allies are small for the tasks at hand.

Iraq – Iraqi forces have entered Hit on the Euphrates road to Syria.  This IMO constitutes a serious and distracting threat to IS in eastern Syria and is probably only possible because of the success to date of R+6 in Syria.

As the Borg Turns – Efforts in the US and Europe continue in a campaign to denigrate R+6 success.  "1984" comes to mind.  pl

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16 Responses to Syria/Iraq Overview – 5 April 2016

  1. Former 11B says:

    And now the manpad genie is out of the bottle. R+6 had to know that was coming.
    I am quite interested in what the response will be.
    Unicorns and their toys
    Hat tip to B of MOA

  2. b says:

    The U.S. “moderates” joined with al-Qaeda have attacked the government side in south Aleppo, Aleppo city and Latakia. The attacks continue. This is evidently a huge break of the ceasefire. There will be a response to it.
    I expect a pause in the eastern campaign and a serious beating of those ceasefire breakers in the next few days.

  3. turcopolier says:

    I expect you are right and then the eastern campaign will resume. pl

  4. Matthew says:

    b: How much weaponry did the Russians let Rebels sneak in through Turkey during the last month? The Regime Changers claim the manpads are old “Soviet made systems.” See
    Any ideas?

  5. FkDahl says:

    My suspicion is that the point of the offensive in south Aleppo was to paint R+6 as aggressors and cease fire breakers, but the R+6 side decided to let Al Eis fall and are thereby able to show an important hill and city taken over by the jihadists+FSA. Rebel attacks will not be reported but Russian and SAAF bombings would be reported (barrel bombs, hospitals, moderates, unguided bombs etc). Now it is a bit more difficult to paint the unicorns as innocent victims.
    Today Elliot “Brown Moses” Higgins is presenting at the Atlantic Council, a work called “Distract, Deceive and Destroy: Putin at War in Syria” where the main thesis is that Russia did not bomb ISIS much and have been ineffective. Laughable it it was not serious.

  6. b says:

    Lots of weaponry according to this (somewhat trustworthy) report
    The Russian also reported several truck convoys and large groups of Nusra fighters coming from Turkey throughout the last weeks.

    Charles Lister is a bullshit artist.
    The manpads, at least those handled by the Turkish/US proxy Al Hamza brigade, are new
    This group never before had any manpads and they did not conquer any depot that would provide them.

  7. Former 11B says:

    Good advertising for the “old Soviet made systems”. They have been quite successful when deployed. I can recommend several nice you tube videos of those successes. Imagine how much better the Russian Gen Now systems must be. If my airforce-deficent country faces the Borg…I wants me some of those.
    Their overwhelming hubris blinds them even at the stuff they are supposed to be good at.
    Plus those “old Soviet made systems” were probably provided from the state dept looting of Libya. Tangled web and all that.

  8. Eliot says:

    He seems to believe what he’s saying, which rather difficult for me to understand. Is it a comprehension problem? Is he a bit thick? I do think he needs a couple years of remedial history. Literature too I suppose.
    – Eliot

  9. Brunswick says:

    Higgens has gone from sleeping on his couch, to earning a very nice living, and gaining great publicity, by using open sourced social media photo’s, google maps, google earth, and highly questionable “scientific analysis” to “prove” beyond a shadow of a doubt that every claim by the Borg against the evil Russians and their ally’s is true.

  10. Is the U.S. Presidential election any kind of timeline driver for Iraq or Syria? Washington based friends tell me an aggressive U.S. FP planned by the Administration post conventions!

  11. Max H says:

    Seems with Russia’s recent massive nuke production that they are expecting a non-Trump candidate in November. Either Hillary or Cruz are not dealmakers and have a history of making “bold” destructive unilateral decisions. I’m sure Russia is gaming this out in light of the extreme threats both Hillary and Cruz have already made to Russia and Putin re: Syria, Ukraine, et al.

  12. bth says:

    Russia isn’t facing extreme threats. What it is facing is an alarmed neighborhood and a cut in their defense budget. The move to nukes is also one of economics in defense planning. Nukes just give more bang for the buck as was done all through the cold war. On the other hand, their space program is broke due to corruption and competitive pressures from reusable launch vehicles. The plan for new large tank groups would contradict my assessment as those are expensive and would indicate a more offensive posture. So, more tanks, more nukes, fewer rockets and defense budget cuts. Tension over resources in their defense establishment must be immense. Perhaps others on thread could elaborate.

  13. Tyler says:

    Re: Brown Moses
    Here’s the DL on Brown Moses from my old stomping grounds. Fair warning the content is my style of posting turned up to 11. If you’re expecting the Russian Orthodox Tea Room decorum, you’ll be disappointed, but you will get a laugh.
    An analysis of Brown Moses by poster “ozma fat”:
    “Brown moses is a gigantic cocksucker who’s autism allows him to blog about various arab atrocities nonstop.”
    Pretty on point IMHO

  14. Trey N says:

    “competitive pressures from reusable launch vehicles.”
    Say what???
    If the Russian space program is broke, how come NASA has to rely on Russian rockets to launch US payloads into orbit?
    [just google “NASA relies on Russian rockets” for a plethora of articles on the subject]

  15. bth says:

    Yes its toast. Russia’s actions creating political risk on its motors was a boost to the US reusable launch vehicle privatization initiative. Also the construction of the cosmodrome was so riddled with graft that the plan is for a manned launch by 2023 instead of this year. And their budget which is a tenth of NASAs just got cut another 30%.

  16. Trey N says:

    Still doesn’t address the issue: if the Russian space program is so f*$ked up, what does that say about the state of the US space program, which is totally dependent right now on using Russian rockets to launch any payload into space??? And how long will this situation last? When will the “US reusable launch vehicle privatization initiative” be reliably putting satellites into orbit? In our lifetimes? So far the concept has been just an expensive pipe dream:
    Its rather unseemly to be pointing fingers at the Russian space program when NASA is such a humongous, ineffective, $$$-devouring bureaucratic boondoggle itself.

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