" … fighters from the Iraqi paramilitary, Hashd Al-Sha’abi (trans. Popular Mobilization Units), entered Syria from Iraq’s Al-Anbar Governorate, members of this group reported last night.
According to these fighters from Hashd Al-Sha’abi, they entered Syria to block the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from taking the border-city of Albukamal in Deir Ezzor’s southeastern coun
While Al-Masdar cannot confirm these claims at the moment, there is a large IRGC and Hezbollah presence near the Iraqi border; it is believed Hashd Al-Sha’abi is coordinating with these groups to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) at Albukamal.
The Iraqi Armed Forces liberated the border-city of Al-Qa’im on Friday, ending the Islamic State’s long reign over this imperative crossing that links Iraq’s Al-Anbar Governorate and Syria’s Deir Ezzor. AMN
Israel is pushing the US hard in the matter of highway border crossings from Syria into Iraq. The Israelis very much want to prevent the establishment of a viable Iran to Syria ground transportation link. There are two major crossings. One is south of Al- tanf . The US has not removed its client forces from that route. The other is at the Al-bukamel/Al-qaim crossing on the road from Deir al-Zor to Baghdad.
In evidence of the futile direction of US policy the Shia Iraqi government is cooperating with the SAG to block US/SDF access to that crossing point.
This must be driving Natanyahu crazy. It is probably related to Saad Hariri's resignation from exile in Saudi Arabia. pl
Israeli-Saudi Tandem Adjusts to Syria Loss
November 4, 2017
Facing defeat in the proxy war in Syria, the Israeli-Saudi tandem is planning a new front against Hezbollah, presaged by Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri’s sudden resignation, as ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke explains.
By Alastair Crooke
That’s a helpful link.
Earlier Colonel Lang said that if a landline uniting the Shiite militias is opened across the Levant, “the Israeli Air force would tear such a route to pieces”. Alastair Crooke indicates ‘The danger is a “black swan.” What happens if Israel goes on attacking the Syrian army and industrial premises in Syria (which is happening almost daily) – and Syria does shoot down an Israeli jet?’
If Syria, Russia or a Shiite militia shoot down a Israeli jet, a “great power showdown” is guaranteed. With the estrangement of Turkey, who will be on what side? If no one wants peace, war is inevitable with thousands of American soldiers and contractors in the right in the middle of it.
I specified the route someone mentioned across Lebanon. The farther north the route the more difficult for the IAF considering distance and air defenses. pl
Now that the Tiger Force has secured Deir Ezzor in its entirety, they are to move to T2 to join the forces already there to finish the drive to al Bukamal. With the Iraqis supporting from the south, this should be a fairly short operation. The Iraqis are also moving to secure the entire border with Syria isolating the YPG/SDF from US overland support from Iraqi Kurdish lands. When all this happens, the CJTF-OIR will have to make a decision whether to shit or go blind.
The only real surrogates the Saudi’s and Israeli’s have are U.S. troops. They could of course stop using surrogates. I am not holding my breath. Where will Trump jump on this? He’s meeting with Putin in Vietnam.
The Iraqi Kata’ib Hezbollah militia has been operating in Syria for quite some time now. Many of their vehicles have been given the Syrian APS system ‘Sarab’ by the SAA. They were reportedly at the al-Qaim border crossing with the Iraqi CTService yesterday and are most probably already across today.
But regardless of some Hezbollah/Iranian hyperventilation about the SDF taking the border checkpoint, they (the SDF) are on the wrong side of the Euphrates. Doesn’t seem possible unless the Coalition gives them bridging or ferry equipment. Even then they would face hostile fire from both the daesh and the Iraqis. Barring intervention by coalition air it is not going to happen. But with 4000 coalition troops in Iraq that is not going to happen either. I doubt it was ever in the cards. Assad knows it, the Russians know it, The SDF knows it, and the coalition knows it. I guess the Hez and the IRGC and al-Masdar never got the memo.
It’s also accompanied by one of the most intense Russian barrages of the war so far: strikes for 4 consecutive days by flights of up to 6 strategic bombers, Kalibr launches, and tactical bombers delivering up to 48 strikes on key nodes per day.
This should worry the Israelis because it shows Russia and Iran are on the same wavelength in parts of the country far away from Russian bases.
Seems Saudi’s didn’t either. Ever since the Iragi Interior Ministry announced agreement between Assad, Russia and Iraq re border back in May IMO it always looked unlikely US proxies would be able to hold Albukamal, even if they took it.
US involvement in Syria looks more and more like a going through the motions exercise, so Muktar Trump can pretend he is serious about protecting Saudi interests. No wonder the Saudis are pissed.
It’s too late anyways to control border crossing.After liberating Al Qaim, Iraki army have crossed the border and liberated Al Hati and Baghuz.Even if SDF conquer Al Bukamal and cut Al Bukamal-Deir ez Zor road, the other one Al Qaim-T2-Palmyra is open.
On the other hand,if SDF conquer Al-Bukamal after crossing Euphrat, they will face a logistal issue as the only road east of Euphrat is already controlled by SAA at KUSHAM and can cut cut anywhere, anytime south of DeZ.
It’s seems also that SAA and Hezb forces have bypassed ISIS defence lines going south from T2, entering Iraq and joining PMU south of Al Qaim.T90 and T55 can be seen on PMU photos in Al Qaim.
A very clever tactical move.
I looked at a map with Arabic names in Arabic and the name of the place is “abu kamaal” not albukamal. pl
There may be a concern that ISIS in abu kamaal will put on SDF uniforms and announce the area captured by US SDF, as they did in the oilfields. Bridging equipment would not be required.
“The only real surrogates the Saudi’s and Israeli’s have are U.S. troops.” Sigh.
“Qatar’s former prime minister spills his guts about how his country worked with Saudi Arabia and Turkey under the direction of the United States – meaning then the Obama Administration – to funnel arms and money to jihad terrorists in Syria.” … The story wasn’t even noticed by those who had a direct, partisan political interest in hyping it. Recall: in August 2016 Donald Trump accused Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton of being respectively the “founder” and “co-founder” of ISIS. Outrage across the media and political world! The supposedly neutral fact-checkers leaped into action to denounce Trump.”
Syrian rabbits need to be very afraid of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) when they cross the border.
Don’t middle eastern rabbits carry tularemia, which can be highly virulent in humans? As a boy I recall that Grandma always cooked rabbit stew until the meat fell off the bones – extremely well done but still delicious. These guys make the US snake eaters look like amateurs.
Four days and Al Bukamal has been entered by the R+6 according to “Hezbollah -linked media” (Al-manar TV?).