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Saturday, October 22, 2016

The situation in Syria raises serious concerns

The fact that the number of sectors of the front in Syria truce is no longer even officially, not a novelty. Not news and the fact that the main events are now unfolding around Aleppo. But the fact that ISIS noticed the Chinese anti-aircraft systems, – news. The news that the jihadists on the “technical” sounding out the situation around Palmyra, in order to try to cut it off from Damascus. There are other bad news.

Of course, the activity of fighting in Syria has subsided compared to her peak moments of the war. But the exit on a proscenium of a significant number focused on Turkey and the U.S. armed opposition groups provoked a new explosion of violence, which escalated into a series of strategic battles. In some areas the jihadists predictable entered into a tactical Alliance with the so-called “secular opposition” that allowed them to re-attract attention. This was highlighted at Aleppo, but was the place to be and on other fronts.

“For Turkey, the return of the territories is critical because it is possible to regain control over part of the border, pushing first and foremost the Kurds, not ISIS”

Particularly noteworthy is the battle for the small town in the vicinity of Aleppo – Khan tuman, apparently, one of the last manifestations of the “road wars”, during which warring parties sought to capture or at least formally put under the control of the enemy. In the desert and mountains, this modification of the “doctrine of indirect effect” worked well – communication stretched, no other roads, all the way – in a straight line. The airports and military air bases were, for the most part, are blocked or too dangerous. So focused on controlling the main roads, the benefit it created many occasions for simple information war.

In the end, capture any more or less significant sandy mound turned into an event of universal scale, and, in the truest sense of the word. ISIL and the so-called “secular opposition” filed even the theoretical possibility of strategic fire trails as imminent symptom of “the fall of the Assad regime”. However, the propaganda machine of the Free Syrian army and the affiliated structures are clearly prone to depression if something goes wrong. Some resources in the last six months like clams and manifested only in the case of such “tactical success”. And now the battle near the small village of Khan tuman propaganda transformed into something mythic.

Who is friends with whom and fighting in Syria and Iraq In reality, Khan tuman (aka Hani Fog) is not even adjacent to the M5 Damascus-Aleppo. Yes, there is a small distance, but it is necessary to break through orchards, fields and canals. Shelling out the track can only be random and long-range artillery, which the opposition is small enough to swear. This is another “operation of despair”, – the opposition and the jihadists is technically not capable of large-offensives, but their tactical thinking has remained at the same level. Namely: to search out the most on the map close to some of the way place, try to get there through a tremendous effort to claim victory, to convert the situation into something political or financial.

When you develop this amazing situational alliances. So, specifically now in the area of Khan tuman interact group of two relatively large alliances. It is, in fact, the SSA itself, from which delegated groups “Jaish al-Nasr” and “Jaish mujahidin-I”, but the jihadist movement represented much larger force – the so-called “Coalition Jaish al-Fatah”, which delegated under Khan tuman its main map – “Ahrar al-sham” and “ajnad Facebook page al-sham, Jaish al-Sunnah”, “Jund Aqsa, part of the “an-Nusra” and even “Turkestan Islamic party” – mercenaries and frostbitten from the countries of Central Asia.

From the truce also came 13th division of the FSA, Liwa al-Haqq”, “Falak ar-Rahman” and some smaller groups that earlier and sit in the same room without any loss without success. All of them at the same time, as the team has carried out advocacy stuffing, the purpose of which was the truce as such. Most of these groups is under the control of Turkey, not the United States, which has largely lost its position of influence on the militarized opposition. And the “friends of Syria” and other Advisory bodies that oversees John Kerry, regularly attend these covens, is a reserve regiment of the politicians of the second level, does not affect the real military action or efforts to cease-fire. For US it is critically important not to take these people (though this all goes), as another tool at the moment, Washington simply no, as there is (and this is surprising) and no military influence on the situation in Syria. That is, the events unfolding even without the American presence that the Americans can not be annoying – they are not used to this.

What to force, by choice or by force of circumstances is now focused on Turkey, they are forced to perform in a basically purely local orders. So, to the North of Aleppo, the FSA and other involved in exciting cutting-LIH, but this, by and large, not the fight against terrorism, and the inning the Islamists part of the territory given to them without a fight a few months ago, when part of the “moderate opposition” ran from beneath Aleppo. For Turkey, the return of the territories is critical because it is possible to regain control over part of the border, pushing first and foremost the Kurds, not ISIS.

The jihadists pursue their own interests, gradually turning to desert tactics. Around Palmyra began to appear the notorious flying squad on “Technicals”, to which we deal with individually. Took place to be two cases, and in both cases these were organized groups of 15 people each on three machines, crawled out of the desert to the North-West and North-East of Palmyra. They’re probing the territory, they are very concerned about the presence of Russian bands in the Palmyra, deprived them of the ability to use drones (according to some, in Palmyra now is part of the “Armour-1C”, covering itself with Palmyra Tadmor, and concert of Valery Gergiev, and now remaining there just in case). There is information that ISIS is trying to build up forces in the desert again to cut Palmyra from Damascus from the West, while holding a portion of oil and gas fields, but in the current environment is a utopia. Any group that dares to “Technicals” to go on the road to Damascus-Palmyra, will turn to dust in one shot bomber. Warlords and ISIS should understand that, although the degree of their fanaticism no one checked.

Apparently, the Syrian General staff has still not decided how to behave in the current situation, because he holds all the cards and you just have to decide which one to go, and this choice habitually inhibits thinking. There is evidence that Syrian commanders are inclined to direct the offensive in Raqqa, but not for more advanced plan with advance on Deir-er-Zor, about which already wrote to the newspaper VIEW. All this again exacerbates the problem of supply and roads, which brings us to the tactics of the opposition and the fighting in Khan tuman.

What made the army of Syria with the help of Russian troops (infographic)in Parallel in the Aleppo battles have become increasingly unpleasant. ISIS and “secular” coalition” hold the part of the district on a daily basis trying to overcome Northern part of the city – huge by the standards of millionaire the Sheikh Massoud. It’s something like the Arab Chertanovo, physically occupying up to a third of the entire city (the concept of “quarter” in the middle East by European standards is rather arbitrary). Something similar happens with the blocks Makani hell-Duwairi, hi to El-Khalidi, but they are noticeably smaller. Moreover, the blame for provoking armed clashes in areas of dense residential development lies entirely on the opposition, which strive to restore supply in Turkey, and shows why such “attention” to the Northern blocks, located inside the local ring road – bypass road, beyond which is the industrial area of Aleppo, destroyed ISIS in the dust.

You have to understand that now all operations of the Syrian opposition and the jihadists have been reduced to actions of groups, the number of which does not exceed 100 people (at best). All for the Syrian war large-scale battles, involving thousands of people in the same Donbass, it was noted a bit, and now the forces are dispersed so that clashes are mostly reminiscent of guerrilla attacks. But the opposition and jihadists trying to keep the voltage almost across the front line, where they were eliminated truce. Clashes have been observed even in the provinces of Latakia and Idlib, which in principle is pointless and useless.

The opposition and ISIS use the truce to probe the front edge stopped the Syrian armed forces and the accumulation of scarce resources. The political process restrains the power situation in the humanitarian sense is considered to be a positive thing (“peace is better than war,” “no one dies”, “suffer not the children”), but the same humanitarian issues have always put forward by the Americans as an excuse when you want to stop the development is not in favor of the opposition. Now it is a humanitarian losses in Aleppo, which were inevitable, and now are used for pressure on Damascus.

For example, in Arab and Western media almost simultaneously published about the hundreds of reported air strikes on the town of Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province, which accused government troops. Meanwhile, Maaret al-Numan – the periphery of today’s events, Syrian aircraft used only in the region of Aleppo and in Latakia province, for more she just has no strength.

The partial armistice – the double-edged sword. If the political process is sabotaged, then, as experience shows, events sooner or later becoming explosive. National reconciliation, humanitarian restoration and rehabilitation of normal life in a completely devastated country is a very attractive picture. But the “Technicals” around Palmyra, the appearance of the SAA and ISIS Chinese air defense systems (possibly through individual or Qatari mediation), and the notorious us anti-tank “ТОW” under Aleppo – bad signs. Never mind that Chinese missiles fly through times, and TOW – obsolete. All links in the chain. And there’s always a chance it could get worse.

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