(I couldn't crop this – sorry)
This is the situation in NW Syria and the east on 31 October.
- The situation in Eastern Syria has become relatively stable. The US government's proxy forces (SDF) have advanced to the east bank of the
Euphrates and as a result sovereign Syria will be limited to the country west of the river for some unforeseeable period.
- The SDF and R+6 are engaged along with Iraqi forces in a race along both banks of the river to determine who will control the Albukamel border crossing on the Deir al-Zor to Baghdad highway. The US coalition apparently wants to keep that highway communication out of SAG hands so as to continue to weaken the government. The Iraqi government wants the crossing open and in Syria's hands, so this is bound to be a cause of friction between the US and Iraq.
- The large IS pockets in central Syria have been eliminated with some jihadis being allowed to evacuate into the Albukamel area and others seeking to flee into Idlib Province where they are being given a hostile reception by HTS (Al-Qa'ida).
- This has freed up a large number of Syrian troops who are being re-deployed either to the Euphrates or to the coming offensive in Idlib Province.
- The Syrian general command has appointed new commanders to the north overall and to the offensive that will drive into Idlib Province from the south.
- Action on the axis astride Route 5 from the south has begun. Secondary attacks should be expected from Aleppo City and from Latakia Province going east.
- Such action is facilitated by the fact that both HTS and IS are excluded from the terms of the de-escalation agreement in Idlib Province.
- The situation will become really interesting when R-6 forces reach the outposts now manned by the Turks in northern Idlib Province. pl