Jubilo! The Siege is lifted – TTG


It's done. Elements of the 17th Reserve Division and the Tiger Force entered the 137th Brigade Base to be greeted by Issam Zahreddine himself. The linkup was effected in the early afternoon today after clearing a path through the minefields. The next order of business is to linkup with Zahreddine's men at the airport. The Tiger Force immediately moved its heavy artillery and MLRS close to this area to begin pounding the fortified IS positions in the Thardeh Mountains overlooking the airport. These positions were also targeted by Kalibr cruise missiles from the Admiral Essen.

Full coverage of the days events are at the Al Masdar News website including a few video clips of some very happy SAA troopers.


A few days ago I watched a video of the Tiger Forces approaching Deir Ezzor. To my surprise I saw a tricked out '73 Camino used as a technical. Son of a bitch, that's a sweet set of wheels. I hope that baby is fitted with some mean hydraulics and used as a command vehicle by al Hassan or Zahreddine. It, at least, must appear in the eventual victory parade in Damascus.


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28 Responses to Jubilo! The Siege is lifted – TTG

  1. Lemur says:

    I hope the SAA can rotate the troops who have been under siege through a month long break to see their families, and have a holiday by the sea in Latakia or something.

  2. mike says:

    TTG –
    Sweet ride is right! I had one in the early 80s when my eldest was in high school. Had to arm wrestle him to get the keys when I needed it on the weekends. He did some offroading with it and bottomed it out on a rock. The oilpan was toast but other than that no problem. He is now restoring a 1960 El Camino. Lots of work to go on the body and interior he said, but the engine is amazingly sound.
    Hope the Tiger Forces kept that Camino out of the wadis and off the rocks. What is that in the bed and on the roof rack? When you said a technical I was expecting a DSHK.

  3. mike,
    That looks like a car top carrier that came with the Camino from the States. I get the impression that the Tiger Force troopers know what a treasure they have and that’s why they haven’t slapped some armaments on it.

  4. Yeah, Right says:

    Well, if it does have pride of place in the Victory Parade then I do hope the driver is allowed to pull some serious donuts when he draws level with Assad’s viewing platform.
    Nothing says !!!Happy Days!!! better that the smell of smoking tires, the shriek of tortured brakes, and the sight of pitch-black circles being drawn on the concrete by a muscle-car.

  5. johnf says:

    The Relief of Deir Ezzor AND an entry into the play offs for next year’s World Cup has resulted in massive joyful celebrations all over (non-jihadi)
    ““This is the happiest day of my life,” said Bashir Rahal, a 26-year old, who was watching the game in a Damascus hotel, with the country’s flag on a table in front of him.
    Outside, the skies lit up with pyrotechnics, some launching red tracers above the thousands of revellers who filled the streets, leaning out of their car windows or marching in the city centre. The upbeat news came on the same day troops reached Deir el-Zour, in eastern Syria, breaching a months-old siege on government troops by Islamic State militants.
    “There are two victories today: the army entered Deir el-Zour and we equalized with Iran, which I consider a victory,” said Fayeq Shmais, a 46-year-old government employee. “Syria is witnessing a revival as large rallies roam the streets of Damascus. This is something we have not seen since the start of the crisis.””
    If they get to Russia the Russian crowds will give this ragtag group of part-timers massive support – unless, of course, they’re playing Russia.

  6. johnf says:

    Here’s the video as Omar al-Somah in the last minute of extra time in Malaysia beautifully nutmegs the Iranian goalkeeper to win through to the play-offs. The whole nation has hysterics.
    “Syrian commentator breaks into tears after Omar Al-Somah’s historic goal against Iran. Goosebumps.’

  7. Tel says:

    I expect the US will come late to this party… given as how it’s almost over.
    Probably Assad’s boys have been peeking in a few garages around the place, thanking people for their kind donations to the war effort. Every bit helps at a time like this.

  8. Great news. Not so great for us in the West since it presages not only further and very public failure on our part, but failure in a project we should not have been engaged in. May I put a couple of questions?
    This is a passage from Lavrov’s September 1st speech. Moscow. I think the bracketed additions may have been inserted by the Saker website, which is the site copied from –
    “Regarding the Syrian crisis and its influence on our relations with Qatar, when the Obama administration proved unable to honour the agreements that we reached with [US Secretary of State] John Kerry in September 2016 (in other words, the US administration failed to implement its promise to separate the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists from the real opposition), we saw that we should look for other partners, who would be able to honour agreements. These partners are Turkey and Iran. We worked together to launch the Astana process, which Jordan and the United States (under the Trump administration) joined as observers. This process is underway, as evidenced by the concept of de-escalation zones, which has been approved and is being implemented within its framework. We have mentioned one of them, in southwest Syria. Other such zones have been created in Eastern Ghouta and near Homs. They are developing quite well and are dealing with the questions of patrols, monitoring and humanitarian aid”
    The two Russian soldiers killed near Deir Ez Zor were apparently escorting a reconciliation team engaged in such work. We don’t hear much of these teams but there are reportedly some 500 of them and they are said to have negotiated some 2,000 agreements. This method of pacification seems to be immensely effective. It is in stark contrast to the Western approach. Do the experts here have any knowledge of what these teams consist of and how they work? In particular, how are they inserted into areas not yet pacified?
    On the military side the reported supply of bridging equipment and the bringing up of amphibious tanks, if true, indicates some highly visible preparatory work over an extended period. Does this indicate that behind the scenes, and in spite of the various public statements made, both sides, American and Russian, know what the other side has in mind and have tacitly consented to it?

  9. Lefty says:

    TTG – The guys look like they’re enjoying their ride. The Google thinks Anna News is in Abkhazia, Georgia. Even the news travels faster in a Chevrolet. Nice wheels and feet on that puppy too. Be fun to get you down to Richmond to watch ’em run at Southside Speedway.
    Mike: Not many of those ’60s left. Pretty neat, tail fins and all.

  10. Henshaw says:

    Possibly a few Mad Max fans in the Tiger Forces saw its potential.

  11. Dmcna says:

    Zahreddine is mighty cool. I have always been impressed by how he appears steady and quietly good humoured with his men at the front, but he has surpassed himself with this one. Waiting out in the open desert for the first of the relieving troops, but for the jubilation like a host going out to greet his guests.

  12. robt willmann says:

    Some videos are on this website, frontinfo.media, regarding Syria. Here is one saying that it is on the road from Palmyra (Tadmur) to Deir Ez Zor, from 3 September–
    This appears to be a Russian created website.

  13. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    This was good news for all the good folks. Now I am waiting for the photo of Zahreddine w/ Al Hassan. Hopefully in another week.
    Ishmael Zechariah
    P.S: I wonder what engine they have in the El Camino and how they manage to get spares. The dust would grind those cylinders oversize rather fast.

  14. robt willmann says:

    Here is another video from the same website from 5 September, claiming to show the cruise type missiles being fired from the Russian ship and activity around Deir Ez Zor–

  15. Sans racines says:

    Thank you TTG and Colonel Lang for the site – I’ve been willing this day for many years – a day which I will never forget – and raise a glass of finest Scottish to all those great spirits who brought this to pass – I cannot find praise or respect high enough to do justice to their achievement and sacrifice. They will always find a place in my thoughts!

  16. Ante says:

    During the early days of the war there were lots of photos of republican guard warehouses full of personal classic and luxury cars. But they would be more associated with the shibboleth of shabiha, with the steroids and oil injected in their muscles, not real soldiers like those of the Tiger Forces.
    I wonder if it was pulled out of one of those (possibly by a third party) and then returned to Syrian service. It would be great if ANNA could write some backstory , I sent them a question in hopes of hitting that lottery.

  17. Philippe says:

    Here is this God damn Chevy… And, yes that’s a car, for sure…

  18. mike says:

    English Outsider –
    It is called the ‘Center for Syrian Reconciliation’. Operated by the Russian Defense Ministry, not the diplomats. Been in operation since February last year in agreement with the CJTF Coalition and the Syrian regime. Reportedly over a thousand localities in Syria have agreed to reconcile. The Coalition and the SDF are doing similar work in the north.
    Here is a quote from TASS:
    “The Russian Defense Ministry declared the establishment of the reconciliation center on 23 February 2016. It is headquartered at the Hmeimim air base, Latakia province. The center was set up in line with agreements reached by Russia and the United States to facilitate the negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition and to organize humanitarian deliveries.”
    No clue as to how they are inserted. On a guess I would say they do not go into unpacified areas until jihadi militants are driven out or go into hiding. They are not from the area and would surely go in with local escorts, wouldn’t they? But another guess is that perhaps many of them are Russian minorities, Tatars or from the Caucasus. Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, is a Turkic minority himself, Tuvan from an area close to the borders of Khazakstan and Mongolia.

  19. mike says:

    Lefty –
    Those early models look a bit like the Ranchero. But I’ve always been a Chevy guy.

  20. Mike – Thanks for that information. I did not know the Coalition was doing similar work. Used to be that UK forces were reckoned to be good at Hearts and Minds but that went sideways in Basra – great work, MOD procurement – and I haven’t seen references to us trying it since.
    In fact I’ve seen very few solid references to whatever work we were doing in Syria, except for the recent report that some UK trainers have been pulled out. Somehow I doubt our politicians were into Peace and Reconciliation to any extent. Add to that the antics of Hamish de Bretton-Gordon OBE, throw in whatever can be seen through the murk of the SOHR and the White Helmets, and to this outside observer it doesn’t look as if the part the UK played in the Syrian intervention will go down in history as our proudest moment.
    But Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, Saur Mogila, Debaltsevo – why is it that the other guys get all the good songs these days?

  21. Annem says:

    No ticker tape parades with the two heroes, El Camino or otherwise. Remember that there is only ONE hero that must be admired both in the military and among the people in that country and a whole bunch of powerful security/intel types wondering what will happen to them when this is over. Just remember Egypt’s Abu Ghazala and others. I hope that both guys are astute enough to understand that the problems for them will start when the guns fall silent.

  22. mike says:

    At the request of the Russians: Coalition aircraft have left off surveillance of the Daesh bus convoy that was going from the Lebanon border to the Iraqi border.
    “To ensure safe de-confliction of efforts to defeat ISIS, coalition surveillance aircraft departed the adjacent airspace at the request of Russian officials during their assault on [Deir ez-Zor],” the Coalition announced in a statement Friday evening.
    Reportedly Syrian forces are now moving past those buses towards Daesh held areas.

  23. mike says:

    Is the SDF offensive in eastern Deir ez-Zor Province beginning???
    Syria War Map is showing heavy clashes with Daesh 35 km south of ash-Shaddaday and 15 km south of the last known front lines of SDF on route 7. If true and they keep advancing on this axis along the Khabir river it would take them to the Euphrates where they could turn east toward the Iraqi border near al-Qaim.

  24. mike says:

    CJTF Coalition officially announced this morning that the SDF has commenced operations to clear Daesh from eastern Deir ez-Zor province. It is said the advance will be along two corridors. Unclear what those are, but for sure one axis will head south down the Khabur River Valley. LtGen Paul Funk, the new CJTF Commander, has said that valley is a strategic axis of advance towards the MERV. The other axis may possiby be an attack southeast towards as-Suwar from Jabal az-Zirab, which they took from Daesh yesterday.
    The SDF and their SAC partners (Syrian Arab Coalition) also formally announced the start of the offensive. The offensive has been labelled “Jazira Storm”. The forces involved are locals from that part of Deir ez-Zor province.
    “Once military operations are complete, control of the areas liberated by the Military Council will be handed over to local civilian bodies, similar to what has occurred in Manbij and Tabqa”.

  25. Barish says:

    What “Inherent Resolve” has wrought last year on Mount Thardah in September either by feckless accident or rank treachery of whoever approved the target coordinates has been undone now. The following user made a map of the situation of territorial control of Dair as-Sur city’s districts and military or geographical strong points, reminiscent of the maps made for Iraqi Musul and Talafar:
    Higher resolution can be found here:
    Given the amount of forces and hardware arrayed here by SAA and allies, I’d expect what ISIL resistance remains within the city to be swept away in no time. Judging by the deployment of pontoon bridges there is a clear intent for all those forces gathered to cross over and reclaim territory east of the Euphrates river. If there is no understanding already in place with approaching SDF, I don’t see the balance of forces being advantageous for the latter should it come to blows here.

  26. mike says:

    Barish –
    Why should it come to blows in Deir ez-Zor province. SDF is fighting Daesh – SAA is fighting Daesh – so why should there be a problem?
    Anything suggestion otherwise is agitprop or paranoia.
    After Daesh and al-Qaeda are defeated they may come to blows. But not now, except perhaps by accident in the fog of war.

  27. mike says:

    SDF is moving fast. They just took the industrial zone north of Deir ez-Zor city.
    Seems I was wrong on my theory of their axes of advance. Possibly General Funk’s statement on the Khabur River Valley was a bit of Maskirovka? Or maybe that is next?

  28. Barish says:

    “Why should it come to blows in Deir ez-Zor province. SDF is fighting Daesh – SAA is fighting Daesh – so why should there be a problem?”
    I guess we have rumour-mongering coupled with modern communications and frustrated Syrian “revolutionaries” hoping for a dust-up and Syrian “patriots” with a well-groomed paranoia of their country being dissected to thank for these types of scenarios popping up.
    “After Daesh and al-Qaeda are defeated they may come to blows. But not now, except perhaps by accident in the fog of war.”
    Clearer delineation would help prevent such in the first place, which would only be possible if the idiotic PR-ops in the now failed regime change-project weren’t still in the way of “Inherent Resolve” openly cooperating with the SAA and allies versus ISIL. As things stand now, I’d hope that the SDF-objective is merely to secure the road leading from the N7-Dair as-Sur Industrial sector junction up north and not to block Syrian access to the N7-road to the Iraqi border and grab the oil fields further south-east. We’ll see either way which it will be in the next few days and weeks.

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