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Saturday, March 17, 2018

The final solution of Aleppo won’t be easy

The fate of Syria continues to unfold in real time: while the Russian VKS carried out the bombing of ISIS positions, the Syrian army together with the Iranian allies are trying to deal with the counter-attacks of the militants in Aleppo. While good fortune smiles on one or the other side, but to predict the future course of events can now.

The jihadists still managed to break through the corridor through the development of district 1070, the complex of buildings of the artillery Academy and the Northern part of the quarter Ramose. This is a small area, but the building blocks are significantly separated from each other. However, to call the incident a “break the blockade” it is impossible, because supply through this area it is impossible to organize – the only suitable way well-sweep by government forces and their allies.

“In the Arab press in Iran in the last days it is fashionable to criticize Russia’s efforts to establish humanitarian corridors as a pointless operation carried out almost under the dictation of the USA”

In parallel, government forces continue attempts to attack the district Ramose and tel Mahrukat, but to no avail. The advance of the jihadists stopped their offensive outburst exhausted, but the situation is such that transfer of the line of the front of 300-500 meters significantly changes things. All the previous days, the militants suffered heavy losses, which was associated primarily with the fact that they occurred in dense industrial and urban areas, with the flanks of the sand pits and ravines. On average, their infantry losses per day twice the losses of the government forces and allies. But after the attack stopped, the pendulum losses have swung the other way – because of failed attempts SAA counterattack in the quarter Ramose.

It is now obvious who the main critical factor for CAA was the simple lack of personnel, particularly infantry. Part of the Republican guard have not had time to go to the first line, and in some key areas the allies of the CAA defended by one platoon. It happened, for example, Hizbollah, the scattered pieces which were protecting some buildings from the complex artillery Academy and loudly berated the government “for cowardice”. Something where its strength did not exceed a hundred people. Yes, jihadists and “moderate opposition” also faced a shortage of manpower, but they quickly managed to throw on a narrow section of the front reserves, removing them from other areas.

Thus began an unprecedented “race of reinforcements”. Of the areas not only of Aleppo and almost the whole of Syria in the South-Western part of the city arrive a variety of parts. Volunteers from Iraq – “Harakat al-Nujaba” – early Monday morning urgently allocated for this purpose, two thousand strong, which had previously been the Khan of the Fog, another problem of the settlement in the same geographic area. In response, government forces hastily withdrew troops from some of the more quiet areas, but this resource is also limited, because nobody wants to repeat the already familiar error – the exposure of one area to another with the subsequent troubles on his own head.

Who is friends with whom and the war in Syria and Iraq at the same time fighting for artacademy and district 1070 4th mechanized division with the help of Russian VKS continues to advance in the areas North of Aleppo, trying to consolidate and expand on previous improvements. The neighborhoods of Dahrat Abd Rabbo and al-Zahraa approach goes together with a battalion of “al-Baath”, this is actively used mortars and rocket-propelled guns and Russian aircraft bombed towns in the valley of Anadan, which in this area are based on the strength of the group “Fatah Aleppo”.

Itself “Fatah Aleppo” has already announced that in conjunction with the “Jaish al-Fatah” “begins the fourth phase” in the “occupation of the city of Aleppo”. This is typical of the East beautiful words earlier, this is the “fourth phase offensive” had much smaller goals and have been repeated countless times. Another thing is that almost all jihadist and ‘moderate’ groups involved in the battle in the South-West of Aleppo, began to take part, even from the Idlib and quickly transfer them to the new front line.

In reality, the militants can now to set local tasks. In particular, we are talking about their attempt to expand the corridor through attacks on the neighborhoods of al-Hamedia and the so-called “complex 3000”, that is, toward the same military Academy named Assad senior. On the other flank you can try to discourage CAA district cement plant in Ramose and the adjacent sand career – a good defensive position. They are not used, for a breakthrough will again be sent the suicide bombers, the use of which learned even the supposedly “secular” and “moderate” supporters of Fatah to the city of Aleppo” (what to talk about openly Islamist an-Nusra” and “Jaish al-Fatah”). Government forces thus put in conditions when they are forced to counterattack, but at least in theory have some latitude. You can try the same attack “in a forehead” to recapture the lost quarters, but you can try to further narrow the corridor to left of it a formality, and it’s possible to cut roads into Khan tuman.

But all this requires the infantry, many infantry, which gradually ends. Constantly the Russian air force strikes on jihadists occupied by the block 1070, but rather to not give them a “raise the head”, not to prepare an immediate counterattack. Similarly, the SAA artillery firing on North Ramose, but the command of the government troops, apparently, is still undecided with a new line of conduct. Especially in the problem area appointed as the new commander – General Zaid Saleh, replaced the failed defense of ADIB Muhammad. Just a week ago, Saleh led a successful offensive in the Northern part of the city, it is associated with all the successes of the government army around Aleppo, including the environment of the jihadists in the Eastern part, the occupation of the road, and Castello quarter of the Bani Zaid. Now he will need some time to assess the situation, to understand what forces it can to locate and how to coordinate with allies and Russian HQs.

So the battle for the quarter 1070 and artillery Academy eyes have become almost epic in nature. When a voltage of imagination you could even imagine this battle as “the General”, hampered only by his obvious tactical in nature. Such “generalat” there will be several more, as government troops critically important to control all access roads to Eastern Aleppo, and for militants of all stripes – on the contrary, to open any canal to supply. And whatever the outcome of the battle for the quarter 1070, will immediately begin something similar in the area of Khan-Fog. Not subside clashes in the Northern direction up until then, until you clear the valley of Anadan, and this clearly will not happen soon.

You need to understand that the fighters live in Eastern Aleppo about three years. They’re quite comfortably settled with a view to the long defense, and the sweep of the city will be possible only after they really begin to feel the shortages of everything from ammunition to batteries for radios. And how much they have accumulated this stuff, especially in the period when declared themselves Democrats and liberals, not even the CIA knows.

By the way, in the Arab press in Iran in the last days it is fashionable to criticize Russia’s efforts to establish humanitarian corridors as a pointless operation carried out almost under the dictation of the US and pipeflow vigilance of the government troops. But “put to sleep” they themselves – and not for the first time.

Do not cease in other parts of the front. So, the flight of Russian strategic bombers Tu-22 on Monday, was connected with the situation around Palmyra, where ISIS is digging in the desert, and Deir-AZ-Zor, on which ISIS provides military pressure. It on ISIS positions and was struck. In addition, government forces slowly advance the front in Latakia province, in a mountainous area which was a busy city Kinaba. Jihadists throwing at Aleppo all the new powers, are forced to weaken its position in other regions, and it can be used. However, thus the war will break up into small tactical foci in which the advantage will go to those who have weapons better, not more people. Now the “pitched battle” began to fragment in the collision tactical groups no larger than a platoon, in which one or two tanks and a couple armored personnel carriers – is already a huge force. Freedom for graduates of Soviet schools in the rear, not stepped through the level control of the platoon.

Thus, the urban development of Aleppo threatens to turn into a meat grinder, while on the other fronts can start very mobile war, threatening a new large-scale motions of the contact line.

It is difficult to assume, how long the battle in the South-West of Aleppo; this will depend on the speed of transfer of reinforcements, and the tactics that will elect the new commander of the grouping of the CAA. Jihadists and “moderate” (from this meaningless term should be gradually abandoned, but yet our American partners insist on the existence of “moderate”) will probably venture to some more local offensive operations, including and not tied to the quarter 1070 directly, for example Han-Mist. To the North and North-East of Aleppo, their situation is hopeless, and only the supply of Idlib while he supports the defense of the valley of Anadan. In any case, the next few days will be a test for the government forces and their allies.

* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”

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