Syria Daily, Dec 23: Insurgents Claim Victory Against Regime Offensive to Cut Off Aleppo

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Insurgents claimed a victory on Monday checking the Syria regime’s effort to cut off the opposition in the divided city of Aleppo.

The insurgency said it reclaimed Handarat camp, north of Aleppo. Regime forces had taken the camp last week as they tried to capture the nearby highway, one of the last routes into eastern Aleppo, which has been divided between regime and opposition since July 2012.

Al Jazeera showed footage which claimed to show insurgents, including from the Harakat Hazm Brigade, in the camp:

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Re: EA’s lead story on Aleppo.

    Regime considered Aleppo its best chance of a major victory, though the best if could have expected was to temporarily surround a large rebel perimeter it could never hold with available manpower. No doubt the regime was counting of ISIS to attack the rebels and bail the regime out of trouble as recently happened in Zaraa and Nobl. Alas,Coalition air forces–or at least Arab elements in the coalition–have begun hitting ISIS in Aleppo.

    The regime can’t beat the rebels without ISIS help due to attrition, low morale, overdependence on mercenaries and mediocre fighting ability.

    Excellent update: IN KOBANE ISIS TAKES A POUNDING BUT HANGS ON

    ISIS is stuck. It can’t win but can’t afford to withdraw. To think of what it might have accomplished in the desert area or in Al Safira.

    http://news.yahoo.com/kobane-islamic-state-takes-pounding-holds-022145741.html

    OBAMA POPULARITY AMONG TROOPS SINKS TO 15%–A RECORD LOW FOR ANY PRESIDENT

    Some 91 percent of active duty service members were satisfied with their quality of life in 2009. This year, that figure dropped to 56 percent.

    What’s behind American troop dissatisfaction?

    http://news.yahoo.com/obamas-popularity-falls-record-low-among-us-troops-210107080.html

    For those who missed it; ARCHCIVILIANS SUMMARY OF THE ABU DUHUR SITUATION

    https://archicivilians.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/situation-in-abu-adduhur-area-military-airport-in-eastern-idlib-syria/

  2. I’m no expert in military tactics. ¿But how could maintain the siege of Aleppo rejimen without rearguard?
    since it would have to enfertanse rebels remaining within the city and those who are in their countryside

    • To xabin:

      Until recently it was a more immediate problem for rebels, who had to deal with ISIS as their back when they attacked places like Zahraa or Nubl. Just as both were ready to fall, ISIS attacked the rebel rear. Now the coalition air force has finally attacked ISIS while the rebels were engaging it. It never did so before. The fall of those two bases near Maarat al Numann should also prevent any prolonged siege for the reason you mention. Once Abu Duhur falls massive rebel forces will be released and can threaten Aleppo from the south, or at Khanasir and Al Safira via a route eastward, though rebels could clean up the Idlib area first. Either way it is the regime forces ion Aleppo now at risk of being surrounded. ISIS can add to regime difficulties by itself attacking Al Safira from the direction of Tabqa or by taking Salimiyeh, east of Homs/Hama.

  3. 1.ISIS:The gunmen came to the all-girls’ elementary school in the Iraqi city of Fallujah at midday with a special delivery: piles of long black robes with gloves and face veils, now required dress code for females in areas ruled by the Islamic State group.

    Link: http://news.yahoo.com/women-excised-public-life-abused-063315706.html

    2. JORDAN: Is ISIS moving into Jordan where there is a strong Islamist element? Or is it planning attacks on USA trainers or Syrians training there? Today the Jordan|ian army is on high alert near Iraq|i borders..ISIS sources claim some troops entered Iraq..

    3. NE SYRIA: Really Bad Guys Beat Even Worse Guys: A dozen SAA forces killed during clashes with ISIS south of Qamishli. IS take over Tall Ghazal.–Markito0171

    .4. ALEPPO: Remember these killing fields at a former regime barrier, duplicated in so many places, if and when Deir Ezzor goes down and ISIS slaughters captured members of the Genocide Army in thousands. This is the regime Obama adores and wants to negotiate with and preserve if possible.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sKtFzbPQRI

    5. VIDEO: A totally insane speech from the head of Boko Harma (with English subtitles). These guys and ISIS remind me of Pol Pot’s gang in Cambodia who would kill anyone wearing glasses or who could speak a foreign language on the premise they were intellectuals and corrupted by exposure to western education.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj5OIHKak_8#t=60

    6. Why does President Bend Over (aka Mr. Dithers or HIs Impotency) always cater to the Bad Guys?

    7. Lebanon holds 7 who abducted Syrian opposition members and handed them over to Assad.

    http://news.yahoo.com/lebanon-holds-7-over-syria-abductions-202529429.html

    • 8,. WHEN I SEE THESE VIDEOS OF THE ASSAD REGIME TORTURING AND MURDERING ANIMALS I CAN”T HELP BUT ENJOY THE FATE OF REGIME TROOPS CAPTURED BY ISIS AT TABQA AND ELSEWHERE

      In the graphic and new video below, an Assad soldier laughs, looks at the camera and pours boiling hot water on a mouse. Each time it runs away he repeats the act. A decent officer would have this guy shot.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5jFhBlNrrM&feature=youtu.be

      This recalls two earlier videos in which the SAA targets animals. iIn the first the victims are a heard of horses and in the second a collection of mules. at the following link the latter video follows the first: One of the horses put up a fight , they kept shooting it because it was still breathing.

      http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=cfa_1365260322

      This is mere practice for what the SAA, the NDF and Shabihha do to both civilians and captured rebels, whether ISIS or FSA/. Recall the throat slitting of women, children and even babies in the massacred of 400 near Tartous. Recall the 200 young men found floating down a river near Aleppo, hands tied behind their backs.

      Assad’s troops are every bit as inhuman as ISIS fighters. Regime defenders often like to tell us the regime is a better choice than the ISIS or even the rebels but I see worse. Regime defenders also tell us we should support Assad because he is SECURLAR (putting the latter in caps. My answer to that is Hitler, Stalin and Milosevic were SECULAR.

      9. Speaking of secularism and sectarianianism,. I agree with Michael Weiss’s assessment of the following piece as “terrific.”

      http://pulsemedia.org/2014/12/23/on-nir-rosens-definitions-of-sectarian-and-secular/

      10. DAMASCUS: Scenes from the Tal Kurdi battle in Rural Damascus, where Assad’s notorious Genocide Army suffered heavy losses

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7qaM31AUQc&feature=youtu.be

      • 11. ISIS VIDEO CLAIMS IT STOPPED COUP ATTEMPT WITHIN ITS RANKS

        The Islamic State (ISIS) group announced that it had foiled a “coup attempt” within its ranks as the group faces military setbacks in Iraq and Syria. A 15-minute film released by ISIS purports to contain audio tapes of the plot made by four apparent Azerbaijani men

        https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/NewsReports/564584-isis-foils-coup-attempt

        The video comes after the Financial Times reported on Friday that ISIS had executed at least 100 foreign fighters attempting to flee Syria’s Raqqa.

        12. Foreign Affairs Quarterly asks, “Will Russians stay the same way after Putin is gone?

        http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/142488/sarah-e-mendelson/generation-putin

        13. Army of Islam special units storm into regime positions in Hatita Alturkman town killing 25 Genocide Army thugs. Fighting off a regime attack in Shiek Najar area in #Aleppo. Regime forces suffered losses and were forced to retreat.

        14. Ukraine MPs vote to drop country’s non-aligned status and work towards joining Nato in move certain to anger Russia

        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30587924?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_breaking&ns_source=twitter&ns_linkname=news_central

        15. A Putin in the Heart of Europe

        “Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s declaration in summer 2014 that his government was going “to build an illiberal nation state” was far from a revelation. Rather, it was a statement of a long-acknowledged fact: Orbán’s Hungary is increasingly becoming a right-wing authoritarian kleptocracy bearing a growing resemblance to Vladimir Putin’s Russia.” (I wonder if Putin’s current economic situation is giving him second thoughts)

        http://www.interpretermag.com/a-putin-in-the-heart-of-europe/

        16. Today the Down Jones topped 18,000 for the first time. People, even Russians, would prefer to invest in the USA rather than Putin’s one dimensional pariah state where things are going to get worse. For the same reason, no one is voluntarily seeking membership in his Backwardia Economic Union, ruled by a corrupt KGB mafia.

        • 17, “It is permissible to buy, sell or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property”–ISIS Q & A. Meanwhile Sunni women suffer “rape prisons” under Assad’s “secular” (therefore “virtuous”) Genocide Regime–the one backed by the “secular” Khamenei, his Islamic Republic and his brutal Shia mlitias. For that see:

          Escaping Assad’s Rape Prisons: A Survivor Tells Her Story

          http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/28/escaping-assad-s-rape-prisons-a-survivor-tells-her-story.html

          18. ALEPPO: Syrian rebels prepare to defend ruined Aleppo as troops and militias close in

          http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/23/syria-battle-for-aleppo

          For reasons described in my response to xabin below, I’m not worried about this in the slightest anymore, even should regime forces seized the “last remaining rebel supply line” which we’ve been hearing they’d manage for six months now. GIven the latest thumpings in Aleppo even accomplishing that seems unlikely. As the Guardian itself notes, “Rebel reinforcements are steadily making their way – through the same gouged field – to secure the last route in and out of Aleppo. There will be far more in the future. Where are the regime reinforcements which have to worry about Salimeyeh, Deiz Ezzor, Qualamoun, East Ghouta, Daraa, Quineitra and perhaps soon Sweida Province, plus Palmyra and desert bases. Can you say “overstretched?”

          19. “Russia and four other ex-Soviet nations on Tuesday completed the creation of a new economic alliance intended to bolster their integration, but the ambitious grouping immediately showed signs of fracture as the leader of Belarus sharply criticized Moscow.”

          The Eurasian Economic Union (aka Putinville, Backwardia), which includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, comes to existence on Jan. 1.

          http://news.yahoo.com/russia-4-ex-soviet-nations-finalize-alliance-144828097–finance.html

          20. The FBI has warned local authorities of a threat that Islamic State militants would blow up the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge spanning the Mississippi River, an agency spokesman said on Tuesday.

          http://news.yahoo.com/fbi-warns-islamic-state-threat-mississippi-river-bridge-151250133.html

  4. CONQUEST IS FOR LOSERS: PUTIN, NEO-CONS & THE GREAT ILLUSION

    In the NY TImes Paul Krugman, citing a book I’ve never read but making an argument I’ve made repeatedly here, argues that modern warfare impoverishes the victors as well as the vanquished.

    “Plunder isn’t what it used to be. You can’t treat a modern society the way ancient Rome treated a conquered province without destroying the very wealth you’re trying to seize. And meanwhile, war or the threat of war, by disrupting trade and financial connections, inflicts large costs over and above the direct expense of maintaining and deploying armies. War makes you poorer and weaker, even if you win.”

    How many times have made essentially they same argument: That: Empires seized by force have long since cost more than they are worth. That goes double when it comes to holding them at a time when the internet, open borders and foreign travel (all economically essential) combine with asymmetrical methods of warfare to assure that the cost goes on forever–an equivalent to Napoleon’s “Spanish Ulcer” but vastly mre expensive.

    How can a man like Putin, who obviously isn’t brain damaged, not figure this out? I can understand the Russian peasants who support aggression not grasping this but Putin with his intelligence background should know better. There is no economic upside to his invasion/ takeover of the Crimea or the Ukraine and a whopping downside that will have negative military consequences as well. The aggression has proven a loser in spades — a phenomenon that will apply equally to any brute force future conquests of the unwilling. An empire or some equivalent (the EU, the USA) can only survive today if based on magnetic attraction. Putin’s Russia repels. The Greater Russia and its nationalism which he offers can never appeal to neighbors who suffered under the Soviet yoke and fear an equivalent.

    Motives for the invasion has nothing to do with economics and ignored economics total. The first motive was the dream of restoring the Old Soviet Empire (which became a costly pain in the butt in the end). The second was the hope of a political boost at home. Now Russia is paying endless and will continue to pay for at least a decade even if were to withdraw totally tomorrow.. Politically it may be still paying off but that’s short term. Like Vietnam, it will prove costly as the chickens come home to roost, a process well underway but yet to be felt in much of rural Russia until next year.

    Many critics of Obama’s mideast policy are NOT neo-cons, advocating aggressive wars. These critics grasp what isolationists can never understand–that defensive wars don’t begin at one’s borders or at the moment one is attacked. Strategic imbalances, if allowed to develop through inaction, can pre-defeat a nation by making war unwinnable by the time one is attacked. Thus, I can think of several locations in the Mediterranean which would have given the Soviets or Nazi Germany an insurmountable advantage had they fallen into their possession prior in any war with America (Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, Malta and or Sicily, the Bosphorus/Helespont area, Athens).

    To argue that such things should be allowed to happen simply because they are “over there” makes no sense except to isolationists. Sometimes you must deal with a gathering storm rather than waiting for it to hit one’s coast. Sometimes, though Obama and isolationists will never grasp this, a stitch in time really does save nine.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/22/opinion/paul-krugman-putin-neocons-and-the-great-illusion.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=0

  5. With all this talk of who is encircling whom in Aleppo, I’m curious how the YPG supplies the Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood. Most sources seem to agree they control it but they must have some agreement in place with rebel forces to keep it supplied? Or?

    • I suspect they most likely have deals with both sides. The regime allows supplies through in exchange for YPG doing the same for Nubl and Zahara, while rebels allow free passage in return for YPG keeping the Castillo road open.

    • oh brother, do you actually believe this is not a promotional stunt, designed for febble minded americans as yourself.
      the guy in marketing is quite smart actually

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