Syria Notes – 25 May 2018


 1.  In the NW the Turkish Army has violated the Astana Agreement's terms by sending a column into Latakia Province (as opposed to Idlib Province) to establish another of their fortified company sized Observation Posts.  This OP is in the Jabal al-Akrad area west of Jisr al-Shugur where the main road approaches the low ground to the east.  In the SW of Idlib Province the Turks are building yet another OP.  IMO they are playing a long game believing that they can retain possession of the Afrin District of Aleppo Province and that Trump will allow them to push the SDF Kurds back to east of the Euphrates and out of Manbij.  Idlib Province is still on the menu as well.  These were all former Ottoman lands.

2.  In the far SW of Syria, the government is massing its forces for an offensive in the next few weeks which will aim to clear and regain all the ground up to the UNDOF line in the Golan Heights and the Israeli fortifications thereon.  Whether or not they have the strength to do that remains to be seen.  The troop list for this large operation includes among others; some TF task teams, 4th Armored Division and Palestinian Liwa al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigade).  The presence of this last unit will undoubtedly upset the Israelis.

3.  In the NW suburbs of Aleppo City a medium sized operation is to be conducted shortly to clear the section of the Aleppo-Gaziantep, Turkey highway that remains in rebel hands.  Rebels have been firing into Aleppo City from there and are blocking the highway.  pl

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