There seems little doubt that the R+6 has made up its mind to capture the rest of Aleppo city from the menagerie of jihadi and other rebel groups that hold the remaining parts of the city outside the area of government control. The exclusion of Aleppo City from the renewed temporary truce just announced is a key indicator.
The Borgist media are in full cry against supposed hospital bombings, shelling and the like. On the Newshour last night I watched the Spaniard who is operations director for Medecins Sans Frontier (MSF) state that the air attack against a hospital the night before had been made by "barrel bombs." This claim was directed at the government since a prevailing meme about "barrel bombs" is directed continuously at the government. The attack took place after 10 PM local time. It was obviously dark. How does he know that the instruments of destruction were "barrel bombs?" A bomb is a bomb from the point of view of those on the ground. Did the victims see helicopters? The rebels have also been shelling and gassing government and YPG Kurd held parts of the city, but that gets scant mention in the MSM.
IMO R+6 should get on with their drive to take the rest of the city ASAP. Re-occupation of the whole city will be a powerful symbolic victory for the government, will free up a lot of forces for use in Idlib Governorate, or on the Al-bab axis. to the NE of Aleppo City. pl
Agree. The MSM have been at full voice about hospital bombings and children for 24 hours.
The coverage on CNN was outrageous, the correspondent said (going by memory but as best as I can recall), ‘the hospital was bombed, a hundred civilians killed in rebel territory including 18 children and killing the last Pediatrician in Aleppo. Also, 80 from the regime were killed.’
My complaint is with the second sentence regarding the total de-humanization of the loyal citizens of Syria. There was no reference to them being ‘children’ or even ‘civilians’ and I don’t recall whether or not they mentioned shelling by the rebels being the cause of their death. I don’t believe they did but I could be wrong. My mind just locked into the words ‘from the regime’ that I might have missed something after that diddy.
None of the MSM sneezed when the
rebelsactivists, according to the Borg,were bombig Aleppo last week.
I couldn’t believe how the CBC wasted nearly 5 mins last evening to talk about the hospital and the white helmets but nothing during the last five days when the Armenian section of Aleppo was bombed by the Turkish-sponsored Syrian rebel groups.
It is a tough decision to make. On the one hand they are talking non-stop about partitioning Syria in Washington. The US forces are north of Raqqa and moving towards it. They have the Kurds in tow who don’t particularly want Raqqa but are going any ways which means the US has promised them the oil fields, as long as US companies get the support contracts. Once NE Syria has been broken up the rest will follow. Lavrov is talking illegal invasion so this isn’t a co-ordinated move. So heading to Raqqa seems like the smart move. But if the SAA took Raqqa the US would say Daesh has been defeated and there is no one left for Assad to attack. Complete bunk but that is how they roll.
On the other hand there are far more people in Allepo that need protection and all of the things mentioned in the article are still valid. But the cost of taking Aleppo is going to be big save some sort of miracle and it is going to take time. By then Raqqa is probably gone.
So if you are Assad what do you do? This will probably get me banned but If I was Assad I would take a page out of the US play book and give Daesh any assistance I could in locating American forces personal. Daesh captures a few of them, sticks them in a cage some where with a couple of jerry cans and a camera near by and suddenly the special forces along with Washington are tied up in knots for a few weeks. That buys the SAA time to get things done and offers some payback. If Assad gets caught what is the US going to do? Demand he step down? Threaten to break up the country?
Obama seems to be doubling down and indeed appears to think that biting off a chunk of Syria is better than complete regime change. I think this cane inferred from the sudden increase in rebel and ISIS activity – it is almost as if Washington gave a signal.
I wonder what Putin is thinking at the moment?
The indiscriminate improvised artillery attacks on government held Aleppo with 2 million inhabitants has been going on for a week. Nearly 200 have died and 1,000 wounded.
These attacks, according to WINEP, are likely instigated by Turkey and Saudi Arabia (and the U.S.) to prevent the SAA to proceed east from Palmyra. This gives more time to create the “Salafist entity” the U.S and others want to create in east-Syria and west Iraq.
MSF is now lying and contradiction its own earlier reports. Those spoke of four missile hits in the area one of which exploded in front of the “field hospital”. There is no indication that the hospital was the target. The “field hospital” designation pointed to a temporary military institution. It was not marked and there is no indication that the SAA knew about it.
The SAA and the Russians have a problem. Take east Aleppo city, which will cost lots of lives and take month, or let the shells rain on on west Aleppo and proceed towards east Syria to regain the invaluable oil fields. These might otherwise be lost forever.
The hard hearted emphat will say “go east” but the Syrian government will have huge difficulties should it let west-Aleppo under such fire.
A compromise might be to now totally isolate east Aleppo and to hit it with artillery and by air as much as possible. Don’t go in except for commando raids.
Proceed to Deir Ezzor as fast as possible, retake the oil fields and then push on to Raqqa from the east, south and west. Press Turkey on its own land by all possible irregular means to divert Erdodgan from further mischievous ideas.
Col. Lang, forgive me if you’ve covered this already, but I just wanted to warn our readers that the so-called ‘White Helmets’ (Syrian Civil Defense) operating in rebel-controlled areas are in reality a propaganda outfit funded entirely by NATO governments, including USAID: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Civil_Defense#Political_Affiliation_and_External_Support
I understand your argument but have decided that the net benefit of eliminating the East Aleppo abscess is worth a quick and decisive effort. pl
“I would take a page out of the US play book and give Daesh any assistance I could” if IS is a US “project’ then how do you account for our direct support for the Kurds against them? pl
If quick and decisive — but how can that be known? Urban, civilian risk, etc. The only overt ie public posture I can imagine being taken, so that the inevitable damage to non-combatants and the city is felt to be acceptable, is to respond to all sources of shelling or violence-against-civilians within the city, organizationally or situationally. Treat it as a policing matter, dealing with armed gangs not troops representing a “government”.
Generally: It is likely in the best interests of the West to encourage Russian tendencies to being a predictable and honest broker in Syria war and other potentially chaotic situations. The random, provocative or contradictory behaviour has been most on US side recently. That may not always be the case. Then where are we?
War is always a matter of gambling, hopefully gambling by the gifted in judgment. It is always a matter of rolling the “iron dice.” pl
Yes, of course, and I respect and apreciate the expert judgment of yourself and others posting here. I don’t see how/why you think that pacifying Aleppo can be quick and decisive, given what has been said here and on other sites, and the many attempts made previously. Progress, yes, but painfully slow. So any insights on the task, will be appreciated — even if after the events pass.
I do understand the merits of a “powerful symbolic victory”. What I’m suggesting is framing the objective as dealing with “nests of vipers”, to be able to say sooner “nests have been eliminated” and declare that victory. There is still a cleanup portion, analogous to de-mining of Palmysa, which is quite necessary before normal life, but post-victory. Policing or civil protection activity. Does not mean the personnel engaged in performing cleanup have to change out right away. Police often need military assist, even if they are two different types of interaction and force discipline. It is however a change of objective from viper-nest disruption to individual viper-hunting. Policing matter; transition to civil life.
Nuff said. Didn’t mean to belabour the point. Cheers and thanks!
If you wish to see the obstacles and not the opportunities you will do nothing. If you take counsel of your fears you will do nothing. You will then be like McClellan in the WBS who employed Alan Pinkerton as his intelligence chief because Pinkerton always justified McClellan’s timidity. If you are like that you will seize every opportunity to avoid decisive action. This, of course, is what your enemy hopes you will do. Roll the dice. pl
I did not say that Daesh is a US project and I don’t believe that. I do however fully believe that the US has been using terrorists all around the world especially in Syria as proxies to achieve their goals. The means the terrorists have used especially in Syria have been just as ugly as what I had described in my previous post. Why should the rest of the world play by a set of rules that the US doesn’t?
The difference between the Syrian regime and the American regime is the Syrian regime are fighting for their lives. The American regime goes to $1000/plate dinners and sleeps in some of the cosiest homes on the planet.
“Roll the dice” equally applies to marriage – “all men are gamblers”.
The psychological and political effects of Aleppo’s liberation could have a greater strategic influence on the war’s outcome than the strictly military advantage it would bring. The problem is that urban warfare has historically been slow, costly and produced high civilian casualties, to get bogged down there would be a disaster. If the rebels have been sufficiently diminished in numbers, ammunition and/or resolve then the time might be right. Can anyone shed light on the strength of the rebels in Aleppo?