August 9th, 2016.
Massive Setback in Syria as Insurgents Break Aleppo Siege.
A massive week-long series of insurgent offensives have succeeded in breaking the encirclement of Eastern Aleppo.
The jihadist coalition Jaish al Fatah (Army of Conquest) achieved breakthroughs from both inside and outside the Aleppo pocket on August 6th ending the siege imposed on insurgent held east Aleppo several weeks ago.
The insurgents broke through the Syrian defensive lines at the Aleppo Artillery Academy, enabling them to carve out a 1.5 km strip connecting the east Aleppo city pocket with their positions to the south of the city.
The strip that has been carved out does not provide the insurgents with a reliable supply line into Aleppo as the Syrian Army are still in position to fire upon any vehicles traveling into and out of eastern Aleppo but as far as the fighters being trapped, that is over.
To add insult to injury, not only have they broken the siege, they have semi-reversed the situation, cutting off the main supply line between Damascus and Aleppo meaning that Government held Western Aleppo is in danger of being cut off and besieged. The government now relies on the Castello road supply line captured from the insurgents in early July.
The jihadists have now announced their intention to drive the Syrian Army from Aleppo entirely, this is probably not a realistic goal at least in the short to medium term but it shows the effect that breaking the siege has had on their morale.
A Remarkable Victory.
So a bunch of guys with AKs, backed by high quality US made guided missiles and spearheaded by massive drive-in suicide bombs, managed to completely over run the Syrian Army’s defensive positions in southern Aleppo despite intense air bombardment.
The scene at the Artillery Academy was remarkable, a massive facility abandoned seemingly with barely a fight, yet this was supposed to be the primary loyalist defensive position on the Southern perimeter of Aleppo.
There were about three dead bodies visible and that was it. It seems that following the initial onslaught of vehicle bombs the majority of the defensive force withdrew from their positions.
A leaked recording said to be an intercepted transmission made by a Hezbollah fighter prior to the withdrawal from the Artillery Academy contained statements such as “only Lebanese are left here…all the militia went home..we have been abandoned.” You get the idea.
Hezbollah fighter in “leaked tape”: We were abandoned
This is an immense calamity, nigh on catastrophe and the best conclusion that can be drawn from this is that there is no military solution in Syria.
This does not mean the insurgents are going to win the war. They are not going to win the war, but this does show pretty clearly that the loyalist side for whatever reason, despite the intense Russian air support, cannot win the war unless dramatic improvements are made in the near future.
Massive Loss of Prestige.
The encirclement of the Aleppo pocket was a big deal in military terms, but more importantly in terms of the narrative of the conflict.
The whole prestige of the operation takes a massive hit on the back of this. When you call on the other side to surrender, as the Syrian Army have done in recent weeks. you look pretty bad when they are able to fight their way out of the pocket.
All available resources had to be devoted towards preventing the insurgents from breaking the siege yet the Syrian Army in recent days has started a massive offensive in Latakia province.
The headlines tell a sorry story. .The insurgent offensive began on July 31st.
This is from the 29th.
Hundreds of Islamist rebels leave Latakia frontline for new Aleppo offensive
And from the 30th.
Syrian Army begins massive offensive in northern Latakia
The lack of acumen and tactical flexibility is cruelly exposed.
Other than the Tiger Forces, Hezbollah and the IRGC the loyalist side is fielding a combination of poorly trained conscripts and Shia volunteers from far afield, many of whom are completely out of their depth.
Conscripts make for wretched soldiers for completely obvious reasons, the problem of conscripts is compounded by the fact that the loyalist forces are constantly fighting on numerous fronts and thus dissipate the small portion of high quality forces at their disposal.
All the people in the insurgent held areas are part of the war effort whether they like it or not but in Government held Syria people are still frolicking on the beach and living their normal lives as if there was no war.
The Unseen side of war-torn Syria-Hundreds party at the beach and soak in the sun just 100 miles from Aleppo
After the Tiger Forces left a state of the art T90 tank on the battlefield to be scavenged by US backed head choppers Nour al Din al Zenki, South Front stated that the Russians did not want to give any more equipment to the Syrian Army because they were not well enough trained and they left it behind too easily and too often.
South Front stated at the time that the Russians would in future only entrust high level equipment to the Hezbollah and IRGC units as they were the only forces considered competent and reliable.
The embarrassment with the T90 lost to al Zenki aside, the Tiger Force do have a solid record of defeating the insurgents of all stripes, they have repeatedly defeated both ISIS and the Army of Conquest, including key victories in north and east Aleppo in recent months, but they appear are fully stretched holding onto their northern part of the Aleppo encirclement, now comprising the sole government held supply line out of Aleppo.
It was the Tiger Force that actually closed the Castello Road from the north at the start of July having spent weeks fighting vicious pitched battles for the Mallah farms area just to the north of Castello road.
Generally the insurgents know where the Tiger Force are deployed and they simply launch their attacks somewhere else as they have done on this occasion.
It can be presumed that the Tiger Force will be expected to enter the battle in southern Aleppo in the near future to at least re-open the government supply line to Damascus.
Once they are fully mired in that area the insurgents will presumably attack the Aleppo pocket in another spot and on and on it will go.
One of the things that I have always found troubling about the Syrian Government efforts is how dissipated they are, so while all efforts and all manpower available should have been devoted to the protection of the winning position in Aleppo, the Syrian Army was engaging in large scale offensives in Latakia and the Damascus countryside, as well as fighting a desperate but large-scale rearguard action in Der ez Zour in the far east and daily battles in the Homs and Hama countryside/desert.
To me this is one obvious reason why there never seem to be enough troops to counter the insurgents, they are trying to do too many things at once, some things, like Der ez Zour are essential, but others are not.
The town of Kinsabba has changed hands so many times that it is becoming meaningless. The Syrians have taken the town at least twice and lost it at least twice in the past eight or nine months.
The whole Latakia offensive faltered at a place/hill called Kabbani, many months ago the Syrians were poised to end the war in Latakia and be able to move east towards Idlib once the hill was seized, but for reasons that were never explained they were never able to take Kabbani (an admittedly great defensive position-a mountain layered with heavy forest) and ever since then the war in Latakia has been a back and forth non-event for the most part.
Syrian Army surrounds Kinsibba in northeast Latakia
The insurgents are not especially strong in Latakia so it might be better to simply engage in a holding operation behind heavily fortified and artillery defended positions and send all surplus forces available to the truly essential Aleppo operation.
The leadership of Syria appears to be incompetent.
The efforts of the Syrian Government to tell their side of the story have been half-hearted at best.
Both Iran and Russia do a far better job of telling the loyalist side of the story yet there is no reason this need be the case. Syria should not be relying on Press TV and Russia Today, they should be able to tell their story to the world and the failure to even attempt to do so speaks of a government that is firmly anchored in the past and with an apparent habitual passivity that is a complete disaster.
The Syrian state broadcaster actually seem to believe that if they say things are going well and the rebels are being trounced than people will believe it, especially if they play some ultra-corny martial music behind it. (In fairness the insurgent music is even worse, downright nauseating)
All The Rhetoric Now Rings Hollow.
The Syrian President’s claim that the Syrian Army will retake all of Syria now seems a distant and unrealistic dream.
The next round of peace talks are scheduled for late August, the loyalist side might as well try to come up with some kind of face saving compromise because all hope of a military victory has seemingly gone.
Syria is most likely going to be destroyed, the state is not going to exist in ten years time and the leadership of Syria bear immense responsibility.
Iran and Russia are going to lose immense prestige as a result of the fiasco in South West Aleppo. They appear to have been blind to the shortcomings of the Syrian Government and by propping it up they have almost served to mask the flaws.
For years now people have been making excuses for the Syrian Government that ignore the reality.
For example it is often stated that the war is not really the fault of the government because tens of thousands of jihadists flowed over the Turkish and Jordanian borders.
There is an element of truth here but it ignores the fact that the policing of the borders was the responsibility of the Syrian Government who were running a highly autocratic state so the jihadists were not simply magically inserted into the country they were able to enter Syria because the Syrian security forces were not capable of doing their job and sealing it.
The President of Syria Bashar al Assad often gives interviews and when he is asked how he would like to be remembered he often states that he would like to be remembered as the man who held Syria together throughout the crisis, if events continue on their current path he will be the last President of united Syria, he will be the incompetent who oversaw the nation’s destruction despite the loyal support of major allies Russian, Iran and China.
A Nightmarish Future Awaits the Entire Middle East.
These victories portend a nightmarish future for people right across the Gulf and the Levant as the viciously sectarian insurgents are not going to stop fighting after the war in Syria is over whether they succeed in destroying the secular, multi-confessional state and replacing it with a Wahhabist nightmare or not.
The insurgents have named their offensive in honour of a man named Ibrahim el Youssef, a member of the Syrian Army who summoned a group of Army cadets to a morning meeting in 1979 and proceeded, along with several Muslim Brotherhood counterparts to massacre between 50 and 80 defenceless young soldiers.
According to the government account, members of all sectors of Syrian society were among the murdered but the insurgent account has it that all those killed were Alawites and this makes it an act worthy of emulation almost 40 years later!
Aleppo Artillery School Massacre
These are not people who are going to win a war and return to civilian life, although there are always individual exceptions. The group is going to move onto the next battle.
The serial war propagandists of the Guardian and the BBC are contemptibly trying to compare the situation in Aleppo with Srebrenica or Rwanda, blithely overlooking the repeated chemical weapons attacks by the insurgents, some of which they actually openly admit to conducting and missing the point entirely that for all it’s faults, the Syrian Government has never targeted people based on their sectarian identity, but if they ever achieved their goal of a rebel victory,the Alawites if Syria would likely be in a position where they would leave or die because these insurgents have been sold on a deeply intolerant and viciously sectarian ideology, hiding behind the banner of supposed Islam.
How ironic the warmongers mention of Rwanda and Srebrenica will seem if that is ever allowed to happen!
All of this is happening because the decision has been taken to redraw the boundaries of the middle east, the Sykes Picot borders are to be destroyed and replaced with quasi-Zionist sectarian statelets in constant warfare with their neighbours..
A Zionist Plan for the Middle East PDF – Yinon
Syria now seems set to become the new Libya, Somalia or Yemen, the people are going to be mired in decades of chaos and mayhem and the only authority will be the bomb the gun and the warlord.
The Caravan of Death is Not Going to Stop at Iraq and Syria.
The foolish and wicked leaders of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states who are currently gloating are going to be experience a rude awakening as the jihadism they have funded and nurtured is turned upon them and their nation is reduced to a chaotic bloody nightmare like Syria and Iraq. The clock ticks.
Brigades of the Islamic elite || The first moments storm the neighborhood Ramouseh Building E
SYRIA:«JAYSH AL-FATEH» INSIDE ARTILLERY ACADEMY BASE No:2
SYRIA:«JABHAT FATEH AL-SHAM»(EX AL-NUSRA) DETONATED A VBIED IN RAMOUSEH DISTRICT
Battle for Aleppo | August 6th 2016 | Part one
Battle for Aleppo | August 6th 2016 | Part Two
Battle for Aleppo | August 6th 2016 | Part 3
Syrian War Report – August 8, 2016: Jihadists Break Aleppo Siege
Syrian War Report – August 9, 2016: Stalemate in Battle for Aleppo?
Syrian War Report – August 10, 2016: Further Escalation
Syrian War Report – August 12, 2016: Militants Threaten Government’s Supply Lines
Syria: Government forces launch airstrikes on the Ramousah military complex in Aleppo
2016-08-07 Airstrikes using incendiary munitions on targets in Idlib city
Jihadist Aleppo offensive of early August | Ahrar al-Sham video (uncut)
Aleppo Artillery School Massacre
*”The Aleppo Artillery School massacre was a massacre of Syrian Army cadets by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was part of the Islamist uprising in Syria, 1976–1982.
Course of Events
The massacre occurred on June 16, 1979, in the Ramouseh district of the city of Aleppo, Syria. An officer on duty, Ibrahim el-Youssef, and members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood calling themselves the Fighting Vanguard (at-Tali’a al-Muqatila) and led by `Adnan `Uqla, massacred between 50 and 83 Alawi cadets in the Aleppo Artillery School. The duty officer in charge of the school called Alawite cadets to an urgent morning meeting in the mess hall of the school; when they arrived, he and his accomplices opened fire on the unarmed cadets with automatic weapons and grenades. The incident marked the beginning of full scale urban warfare of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood against that ruling Alawites”