Syria Daily, Feb 5: Insurgents Begin Rocket Attacks on Regime Forces in Damascus

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LATEST: Report — Islamic State Attacks Insurgents in Aleppo Province

UPDATE 1815 GMT: Jaish al-Islam has halted rocket attacks on Damascus, with leader Zahran Alloush declaring that the curfew on civilian movement is lifted:

However, Alloush said the rocket fire would resume if the Assad regime again bombed insurgent-held areas in East Ghouta — where more than 60 people were killed on Thursday — near the capital.

Jaish al-Islam video of today’s attacks:

The faction also fired rockets in Latakia Province in western Syria:


UPDATE 1615 GMT: Jaish al-Islam have repeated that they have not used mortars in attacks on Damascus today, claiming that any damage from such attacks is due to regime operations.


UPDATE 1415 GMT: Regime warplanes continue to pound the East Ghouta — including the key town of Douma, northeast of Damascus — with at least 40 strikes on Thursday. Local activists say at least 60 people have been killed and hundreds injured.

Aftermath of a strike:


UPDATE 1300 GMT: Sources and images are indicating both insurgent and regime attacks on Damascus on Thursday.

Aiming at military installations and positions with Katyusha rockets and shells, insurgents have hit the Kafarsouseh, Abu Roumaneh, al-Maliki, and Mezzeh areas in Damascus.

However, it appears that the regime may be responsible for an attack on the historic Umayyad Mosque in the Old City, which is not close to the areas hit by insurgents.

Images of the strike, in the Mosque’s courtyard, point to a mortar rather than a rocket or artillery shell. A well-placed source — who is not connected to the opposition — assesses that the Syrian military is responsible.

In Baramkeh, adjacent to Kafarsouseh and near the President’s Bridge, both the Faculty of Economics at Damascus University and the Abbas al-Hamoud School have been struck — possibly by mortar fire.

Zahran Alloush, the head of Jaish al-Islam, has said on Twitter that the mortar shells are being fired by the regime from the Palestine Intelligence branch and the National Security complex towards civilians, especially in the Midan section.

Alloush claims the regime’s mortars are “to cover the painful results of the [insurgent] attack and paint Jaish al-Islam in a bad way”. He repeated Sunday’s warning to civilians not to roam in public places.

The Islamic Front’s Mohammed Alloush says the Syrian military is also firing from Mezzeh Airport.

Earlier the Islamic Front’s spokesman circulated Twitter messages that the insurgents have not aimed at schools, churches, or mosques. Any attacks on them must be from regime positions, the messages claimed.

All schools have been closed and university and school examinations have been postponed. Officials have been sent home, and offices closed.

Damascus Police say five people have been killed and 40 have been wounded.


UPDATE 0845 GMT: Damascus police say three civilians have been killed by rocket fire, with at least 30 people injured.

The spokesman for the insurgent Islamic Front, Captain Islam Alloush, has circulated messages that all shells falling on schools, mosques, or churches are coming from regime positions:


The leading insurgent faction Jaish al-Islam has announced the start of a campaign of “hundreds of rockets” on military targets in Syria’s capital Damascus.

Jaish al-Islam leader Zahran Alloush, who is also the military head of the Islamic Front bloc, said on Wednesday morning on Twitter that the attacks would continue until Damascus is “cleansed” of Syrian troops and militia.

Initial reports indicate a large assault, starting with a few dozen rockets aimed a miitary base and immediate response by regime artillery. Targets included “security stations” (military installations) in Kafarsouseh, Abu Roumaneh, and al-Maliki and State security and customs branches in Mezzeh.

Sirens are sounding across Damascus, with some sources speaking of a “war zone”.

A military source told State media that at least eight people have been injured.

A Jaish al-Islam convoy moving weapons for the attack — included are “Sahm al-Islam” homemade rockets, Type-63 107mm multiple rocket launchers, and M30 122mm howitzers:

Eleven days ago, Jaish al-Islam fired more than 100 Grad and Katyusha rockets at regime checkpoints, headquarters, and installations in Damascus, including the wealthy Midan area. It said the assault was in response to the Syrian military’s aerial bombardment of insurgent-held areas near the capital.

State media said several civilians were killed by the attacks, while opposition activists claimed that casualties were inflicted by regime mortar fire on the neighborhoods rather than the Jaish al-Islam rockets.

Far from relenting in its attacks, the Syrian military has escalated bombardments of the nearby areas in the past week. In Douma, northeast of Damascus, dozens of civilians have been killed and wounded this week by airstrikes. On Wednesday, activists said that a regime attempt to invade the suburb was repelled by insurgents.

Fierce clashes were also reported in the insurgent-held Jobar in northeast Damascus, with at least 11 Free Syrian Army fighters killed.

Alloush said this morning that the regime “dogs” would taste what it is inflicting on the civilians of East Ghouta, the area largely held by insurgents near Damascus.

Jaish al-Islam has warned civilians to avoid all regime positions and vehicles and to observe a curfew “until further notice”.


Report: Islamic State Attacks Insurgents in Aleppo Province

Sources are reporting a major Islamic State assault on insurgents in Aleppo Province in northern Syria:

A jihadist cell has also struck near Aleppo:

Insurgents Blow Up Militia Headquarters Near Damascus, Claim Hezbollah and Iranian Casualties

Insurgents claim that they blew up a pro-regime militia headquarters west of Damascus on Thursday, killing at least 30 Hezbollah, Iranian, and Iraqi fighters. One militiaman escaped with wounds.

EXPLOSION DAMASCUS SHABIHA HQ

20 US-Led Coalition Airstrikes in Eastern Syria, Civilian Casualties Reported

Opposition outlets report at least 20 US-led coalition airstrikes on Islamic State positions in southern Hasakah Province in eastern Syria.

The outlets say there have been civilian casualties.

Regime Barrel Bombs Kill At Least 18 on Aleppo Roundabout

At least 18 people were killed by regime barrel bombs on the Baedeen roundabout of central Aleppo on Thursday evening, according to ANA Press.

Another 50 people were wounded.

Casualties in a field hospital (Warning — Graphic Images):

Chemical Weapons Watchdog Formally Expresses “Serious Concern” Over Regime’s Use of Chlorine Bombs

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons formally expressed “serious concern” on Wednesday over the findings of its mission that chlorine was used in attacks on three villages in northern Syria from April to August 2014.

The mission said “with a high degree of confidence” that the chemical had been used in attacks in Idlib and Hama Provinces. Although it did not formally name the Assad regime as the attacker, its evidence — interviews with witnesses, victims, and medical staff, videos, and images — all supported the claims of chlorine canisters inside barrel bombs dropped by regime helicopters.

See Syria Daily, Jan 7: Assad Regime Used Chemical Weapons on Towns and Villages — International Inspectors

The OPCW “expressed its strong conviction that those individuals responsible for the use of chemical weapons should be held accountable”.

Iran tried to block the formal declaration, negotiated by the US and Russia, but the Americans pushed the OPCW’s Executive Council to publicly vote on the statement, isolating Tehran.

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44 COMMENTS

    • the regime’s barbaric siege of the ghouta explains the missiles on damascus security installations, just as the zionist state’s barbaric siege on the refugees in gaza – ethnically cleansed from their homes in palestine in 47 and 48 – explains the occasional home made missile fired at the ethnic cleansers living on stolen land.

      • And the ethnic cleansing of the Jews from Palestine by the Romans in 48 AD explains…

        Wait… are they still pissed at the Italians?

        • I Don’t about the Jews Mr Smith but the Serbs still hate the Turks and other because 1000 years ago, they lost Kosovo. So its very possible that some still hate them for it. Also both Koreas and China still hate Japan for they did in WW2 as to many former Allied citezns hate Germany, Also many Jews still hate the Germans and to this day boy cot them and they were (are today?) killing holocaust perpetrators well into the 1980s. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1566254/Missing-Nazi-was-killed-by-revenge-group.html and http://www.jta.org/1965/03/08/archive/nazi-involved-in-killing-jews-in-riga-found-dead-in-uruguay.

          P.S. I like thank you for previous comment showing me that the term “Hay is for horse” is about the grammar mistake of using hay instead of hey, I always thought people said it because some thought it was disrespectful or rude to greet someone with hey/hay.

        • I’m sure the Palestinians would find it easier to get over their ethnic cleansing if they weren’t still kept in refugee camps. and read shlomo sand – there wasn’t an ethnic cleansing by the Romans. there was a decapitation/ expulsion of an elite.

          • good point Robin by the way dose your name Kassab have anything do with that Armenian town in Latakia?

            The one which Asshead tried to draw connections to the Arminian Genocide when the rebels captured it which is laughable, when you consider that Hitler based his genocide on the Arminian one, and Michel Aflaq and Salah al-din al-Bitar (worlds mover over winded name ever, no really say it three times really quickly and you’ll see) read Adolf’s pal Alfred Rosenberg’s book Myth of the 20th century and had the only copy in Damascus, and later those one of those morons taking a page from that imbecilic rosy mountain told that dummy Saddam to gas the Kurds like Jews. Its amazing how anyone who got a C in history class could debunk that drivel.

            My name by the way is pronounced the same as Niall from 1 Direction, since I just no some of you will of read it as Neel.

  1. Wonder if the government will respond with a bit of a pounding of ghouta miltary strongpoints and checkpoints of their own?Any innacurate strikes of course would be rebels attacking their own positions to get a little sympathy.

  2. Syria and Related Dictatorships (Update #1)

    NOTE TO READERS: All of my first update was assembled last night too early for this article. I simply let the computer hibernate and planned to post this morning. Perhaps for that reason cut and paste wasn’t working so I had to recopy EXCEPT for links which are a bit too much work. In fact, I can’t even copy this. Hopefully the problem isn’t with the site. I’ve no time to test that now since I’ll be gone for a few hours. Meanwhile I’ve provided sufficient info as to location or title anyone can look up the links for themselves.

    KOBANE: A map I posted yesterday of the battle situation on Feb. 3 was already obsolete within 24 hours as Kurdish/FSA forces took virtually adjacent town in already held territories and had also taken at Satiyah well to the southwest.

    DOUMA: Dozens of regime troops were killed or captured in a failed assault here from al-Wafideen.–Malcolmite.

    “JIHAD WILL CONTINUE UNTIL AMERICA IS NO MORE” –Khamenei

    So says a news story on Yahoo in which the Khamenei claims the nuclear negotiations are virtually dead. Nevertheless, Obama and his political hacks continue to appease the guy by arming his Shia militia in Iraq and by following a “hands off” policy as continues a genocidal war on Sunnis via his proxy, Assad.

    PENTAGON BELITTLES OBAMA’S OPTIMISTIC AND POLITICAL ASSESMENT ON HOW THE WAR WITH ISIS IS GOING–Bloomburg News

    RUSSIA: A half million westerners have left Russia, having given up on its future prospects under Putin and this ruling (fascist) alignment of Russian ultranationalists and security forces. That’s in addition to many migrant laborers who have fled south taking anti-Russian attitudes with them.

    Look up an article entiled “What Putin Fears Most for Russia and the Ukraine.”

    CNN: ISIS MURDER OF PILOT BACKFIRES IN JORDAN & ELSEWHEE

    In Jordan popular support for King Hussein’s war on ISIS. previously lukewarm, is now red hot. DItto throughout Middle East.

    • TESTING INFO & INTERESTING STORY

      Islamic State executes three of its Chinese militants: China paper

      The three had joined ISIS and then decided to flee. Such incidents have been frequent and could backfire on ISIS when it comes to recruiting others.

      http://news.yahoo.com/islamic-state-executes-three-chinese-militants-china-paper-083953180.html

      TESTING CONCLUSIONS: “I’ll have to either use my other computer (which has a word processor) or notepad on this one in similar circumstances. If computer goes into hibernate mode, you can’t cut and paste. While doing the test I also places two copies on the same EA story and tried copying from one and posting to the other. That you can’t do. Yesterday I did something similar. My lead roundup was left on the “leave a comments” part of the previous Syria Daily. I planned to simply copy it to the new one this morning. Now I know you can’t do that. You must use notepad or a word processor.

      Why I won’t get any research done until later: Wife wants to go from Prescott area (present location) to Cottonwood, near Sedona, for breakfast. It’s beautiful here. Beats Florida or almost anyplace else in USA by a no contest. Reached 70 degrees yesterday afternoon. Top down on Miata.

      • Dose Mrs Tornadoes share your passion for Syria and your hatred of Obama? Good to know your in the sun: the park outside my home is covered from snow that fell last week.

        • My wife is not very political but does despise both Assad and Obama after voting for him twice, as did I. The sleazeball hid his intentions to cater to Khamenei no matter what from the electorate or many might have voted differently or (as we did in November) stayed home. He and his advisors act like Iranian moles. I think the National Security Council has proven its worthlessness and should be abolished after Obama expanded its numbers so greatly. It’s big money for negative results and not worth a penny.

  3. https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&nv=1&rurl=translate.google.com.au&sl=ar&tl=en&u=https://zamanalwsl.net/mobile/readNews.php%3Fid%3D57741%3Fsl%3Dauto%26tl%3Den%26u%3Dhttps://zamanalwsl.net/mobile/readNews.php%3Fid%3D57741&usg=ALkJrhjTEzSssTBbwBASjC2p2OifR-tpvQ
    Not the easiest to read after being translated,but apparently the FSA political leadership in Turkey are close to broke after stealing millions and putting their relatives in positions of power and other shenanigans.

  4. The FSA have destroyed 15 tanks last month http://rfsmediaoffice.com/en/the-fsa-destroyed-15-tanks-in-january-2015/
    Also last week (January 24-30) “Revolutionary fighters carried out a remarkable operation against regime premises in Tal Souran of eastern Ghouta that left forty Assad troops killed. Plus “Revolutionary battalions
    ambushed a regime convoy on Homs-Salamiyeh highway leaving nine regime officers killed and several others wounded, they also seized rockets and
    ammunition” and killed one SAA man and bombed a shabiha base in Latakia.

    As well as that during the battle of Brigade 82 FSA fighters stormed the area and a violent battle took place resulting in killing 240 regime troops, including the Brigade’s security officer, and capturing 49 others including the Brigade’s operation commander.

    http://rfsmediaoffice.com/en/weekly-summary-january-24-30-2015/
    So that’s 40+9+240+1=290 men killed just from the FSA and keep in mind I did not include bits in source were it did not give exact fatalities eg many/dozens/several killed. So that would mean in the last week of January they lost over an army company of troops, at a rate of 290/7=41 killed a day, that’s the equivalent of a platoon and a half killed every day. Just how long till they run out of men?

  5. Syria and Allied Dictatorships (Update #2)

    DOUBLE VICTORIES FOR REBELS IN DAMASCUS

    –Reports that over 30 Iranian & Hezbollah militants were inside a building the oppo brought down in Deir Salman in eastern Ghouta–Paradoxy

    –FSA retakes vantage point in Jobar Fighting.

    http://www.syrianobserver.com/News/News/FSA+Regains+Vantage+Point+Amidst+Jobar+Fighting

    WIFE OF FRENCH TERRORIST MAY BE IN NEW ISIS VIDEO

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4623343,00.html

    SCHOLARS RATE MOST EFFECIVE SECRETARIES OF STATE & KERRY COMES IN DEAD LAST

    That would also reflect their low regard for Barak “the Give Away Man” Obama in foreign policy.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/in-the-loop/wp/2015/02/05/scholars-rank-kerry-dead-last-in-terms-of-effectiveness/

    OBAMA SEEKS TO EMPOWER IRAN IN SPITE OF KILLING OF AMERICANS, SUNNI GENOCIDE

    http://www.thetower.org/1604-analysis-president-obama-seeks-to-make-iran-into-a-successful-regional-power/

  6. Syria and Related Dictatorships

    ISIS HAS BUILT A NEAR-IMPREGNABLE BASE & MASS APPEAL, SAYS NEW BOOK

    The authors of ISIS: Inside The Army Of Terror, published this month in the US, spoke to dozens of fighters and members of the group to understand its allure and how it justifies its brutal tactics.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/news/world/europe/story/isis-has-built-near-impregnable-base-and-mass-appeal-new-book-20150205#sthash.Jd6EsehU.dpuf

    ALLEGED ANTI-ISIS COALITION IS STARTING TO COLLAPSE AS ARABS SEE IT AS ATTEMPT TO SCREW THEM

    From the start Obama’s “ISIS only, hands-off Assad” policy was more interested in screwing Sunnis, keeping the Genocide Regime afloat and enabling Iran’s quest for a Shia Empire. No wonder Turkey refused to join in the first place.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/397973/obamas-anti-isis-alliance-falling-apart-predicted-mario-loyola

    IRGC Website (in arabic): IRAN NUKE DEAL TO BE ANNOUNCED NEXT WEEK IN CITY FAMED FOR APPEASEMENT

    If so, they picked the perfect location (Munich) for another sellout of American, Arab and Israeli security by President 5 FOR 1 (aka President Red Line). The president will surely remove most sanctions and give Congress no say even if the Constitution required Senate approval for treaties. If so, impeachment is in order.

    http://www.irannuc.ir/content/2497

    THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES TO PUTIN & NOT ALL ARE IN THE KREMLIN

    http://www.interpretermag.com/there-are-alternatives-to-putin-and-not-all-of-them-are-in-the-kremlin-satarov-says/

    • Surly an IRGC would be in Farsi not Arabic? Isn’t that like an Nigerian army website in Spanish or Korean instead of English or Youbora? But cant read either, so I’ll take your word for it if you might be a polyglot after all.

      • The so-called ‘appeasement’ of Iran by the Obama administration is a (most likely) GOP myth. European diplomats involved in the talks said off the record that it was the Americans who were the obstacle to an agreement, because they were demanding far more than the rest of the Western powers.

  7. Syria and Related Dictatorships (upgrade #4)

    DAMASUS: Jamat Al-Islam reported scored a dead hit that wiped out a Syrian army HQ in Daraya today. The sweet sound of exploding ammo afterward always tells the story.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG-Ai1Ig1lY

    COOL VIDEO FROM LATAKIA

    A regime T-55 emerges from its hiding position near Hill 45 and is immediately wiped out by a TOW missile.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oVigFVlniA&feature=youtu.be

    Great Excerpt from APPEASEMENT AS NARCISSISM

    The architect of appeasement — for example, Neville Chamberlain, former prime minister of Great Britain — was predictably a narcissist. Chamberlain believed that his own powers of oratory, his insights into reason and his undeniably superior morality would sway even a thug like Adolf Hitler.

    President Obama currently is convinced that his singular charisma and rare insight into human nature will convince the Taliban to peacefully participate in Afghan politics. Obama will supposedly also win over the Iranian theocracy and show it how nonproliferation is really to everyone’s advantage.

    Observation: Kerry is Obama’s perfect look alike.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/02/05/appeasement_as_narcissism_125504.html#.VNOQF0LBVns.twitter

    JAMES MILLER OF THE INTERPRETER TWEETS ON OBAMA’S STRATEGIC INCOMPETENCE

    “Our Ukraine policy is insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In Iran his policy is equally flawed.

    The entire US government is well aware that their policy in Ukraine is broken… except the president as long as Barack Obama is president do not expect it to get fixed. I cannot stress enough, Obama is the one in his admin who doesn’t want to arm Ukraine or fix Syria policy. He refuses to change/rethink.”

    I’m not so sure about Obama being the only one unless Suzy Rice, Biden, Valerie, McDough and especially Rhodes have undergone sudden conversions. Rhodes especially is adamantly opposed to making things harder for Putin by arming Iran. If only Brezhnev and Mao have felt the same when we were in Vietnam. John Kerry has also said we will give no weapons to the Ukrainians.

    ATO spokesman: UKRAINIANS DESTROYED SEVEN RUSSIAN VEHICLES & KILLED 190 BAD GUYS

    http://uacrisis.org/rechnik-ato-6/

    • Syria and Allied Dictatorships (Update #5)

      Major Developments if confirmed: ISIS MAY BE WITHDRAWING FROM ALEPPO/ INTERNAL CLASHES REPORTED !

      Abu Mohammed reports ISIS is withdrawing from the Aleppo area toward Raqaa. Withdrawals are reported at Turkmen Bareh and Raai in the northen countryside. If so, regime forces in Aleppo can’t count on ISIS’ help anymore. Assad’s chances of surrounding rebels are worse than ever. Not so for the rebels who have won a string of victories in Aleppo in in the past two weeks.

      One report says ISIS in concentrating in Manbej, which could offer opportunities to coalition aircraft.

      More importantly, there is this from Abu Mohammed: “situation of tense between the ISIS members in Ma’daan in the eastern countryside of Raqaa.” He reports open clashes between rival members of ISIS in That could tie in with a Wall Street Journal report of growing hard feelings between Syrian members of ISIS and the foreigners who get all the top jobs and far more pay.

      Abu Muhammed Also Wrote this article:

      Defections and assassinations among ISIS ranks

      http://www.raqqa-sl.com/en/?p=455

      IRAN; “AMERICANS ARE BEGGING US FOR A DEAL”

      http://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-the-americans-are-begging-us-for-a-deal/

      The statement is accurate only if you substitute “Kerry” and “Obama (alias President 5-For-One, President Red Line) for “Americans.

      RBC REPORTS RUSIAN SOLDIERS DECEIVED, PRESSURED INTO CONTRACTS, WIND UP IN COMBAT IN SYRIA

      http://www.interpretermag.com/russia-update-february-5-2015/#6699

      United Nations Report: ISIS HAS BURIED CHILDREN ALIVE & MORE

      http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/02/05/u-n-report-islamic-state-has-buried-children-alive/

      • GOVERNOR OF DARAA PROVINCE FLEES THE COUNTRY?

        Markito0171 says there have been several reports that the governor fled to Jordan. If true, how will affect troop morale in Daraa and Sweida Province? Will Assad retain his delusions of possible victory? Will others in bad situations (Ezra. Iblib, Aleppo) copy the move which suggests a sinking ship?

        • Why would he go to Jordan? They support the FSA, surely he just be extradited back later, Iran, Russia or Venezuela would be a much better choice.
          In Raqqa the governor was captured, so he now could POW or been executed
          In Hama Governor Anas Abdul Razaak Naem was head of the Baath party until 2011. killed in 2013 as revenge for the CW attack, he replaced the old Governor who was sacked in 2011 along with the Governors of Homes and Darra. I wonder how many more Governors will be killed? Are that hold still office after the revolution began?

  8. Obama says lets try and talk to Iran about ditching its nukes

    Round 1 Iran says No

    Round 2 Obama tries talks again Iran answers never

    Round 3 Obama tries yet more talks again Iran responds with nope

    Round 4 Obama has another go at talks Iran replies by saying nah

    Round 5 Obama takes the talking route once more Iran states that’s not happing

    Round 6 Obama lunches yet another talk Iran promptly says wait for it…. negative

    So naturaly after multiple rounds of trying to talk Iran out of nukes Obama come up with a great Idea “lets have another round of talks with Iran, lucky Round 7 right boys! I just know if I try the same failure of a strategy over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again we will eventually get the result that we want”

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”- Albert Einstein

  9. MAJOR LATE DEVELOPMENTS

    1. Daraa governor reportedly has fled to Jordan (this news could affect troop morale elsewhere since it sends a message about prospects).

    2. Kurds and Levant front form Unity Pact with operations room entitled “Liberation of Aleppo.”

    3. According to unconfirmed sources in Aleppo, Daesh bombing their HQs in AL-BAB CITY and some villages in North Aleppo Prov.–archicivilians. That comes on top infighting I noted in other locations I mentioned in an earlier post which looked at possible reasons.

    4. Surprise of the Day!: REBELS MAY BE MOVING IN ON AL SALIMEYEH

    Rebels ambush #Assad-forces on road Hama – Salamiyah at Jinan village.

    http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35.087538&lon=36.862307&z=11&m=b

    Earlier reports suggested Assad may have withdrawn most regime forces here, which would leave locals to their fate at hands of ISIS which regards them as heretics. Salimeyeh appeared to be a sure thing for ISIS. Kobane and infighting since may have hampered ISIS whose forces have been reported as withdrawing in the ISIS area (with some contradictory reports). Abdul Rahman thinks ISIS may want to consolidate positions in Raqaa and Deir Ezzor.

    Salimeyeh locals (and probably some regime troops) may be glad to see rebels moving in. A rebel offensive here may be designed to work with one in Aleppo by cutting off regime forces there. A rebel presence in an fight with ISIS could bring the Coalition air force into play although Obama could wait until things are almost lost as he did in Kobane.

    5. NEW MAP SHOWS WHY REGIME IS DONE FOR NORTH OF SHEIK NAJJAR IN ALEPPO

    https://twitter.com/search?q=aleppo%20&src=typd

    6. Regime suffered heavy losses in an assault on rebel positions at al-Mayaset north of Aleppo. A video (which I can’t find right now) shows a roomful of captured soldiers belonging to a Tigers (something) outfit. Some have red patches.

    7. REGIME POWS KILLED BY ASSAD’S AIRSTRIKES ON EAST GHOUTA

    Reports that several regime POWs held by oppo in Ghouta were killed & wounded by regime airstrikes & artillery shelling today—Paradoxy

    • ISIS DOES APPEAR TO BE GIVING UP ON ALEPPO AFTER LOSING KOBANE

      (If that’s the case, Assad’s forces can’t count on ISIS help in attacking rebels from the rear or rebel supply lines and ISIS may give up more border posts. Recall how an ISIS attack on attacking rebels saved regime forces in Zaraa and Nabul earlier. Those two towns are about to be more cut off from ever and any Levant Front/Kurd alliance would worsen their position further).

      Kobane may not be the only place where ISIS is withdrawing. The following twitter (just in) should resolve contradictory reports on what ISIS is up to in Aleppo, where many say ISIS appears to be retreating from the whole area to better defend Raqaa and Deir and possibly to deal with growing internal battles–especially between Syrian members who get half pay and know it, and foreign members who live and eat much better.

      “Seems ISIS is launching a cover assault on Mare’ to distract rebels whilst it retreats from Aleppo countryside.”–Abdul

      BOMBS WITH KORANIC VERSES ON THEM ARE POUNDING ISIS, WHILE KING’S POPULARITY GOES WAY UP IN JORDAN

      http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0L91G920150206?irpc=932

      Both are the opposite of what ISIS hoped for, I suspect. It will find little popular support should it invade Jordan now after all its people saw the video of the pilot being burned alive. So have many clerics in Sunni countries. Meanwhile Assad continues to burn little boys to death in Aleppo as Obama cheers and pats Khamenei on the back while the world ignores such crimes (Obama most of all).

      Must Read Article From CSM: JORDAN MAY INTERVENE IN SYRIA AS “THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP”

      http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2015/0205/As-public-cries-for-vengeance-Jordan-talks-of-wider-intervention-in-Syria-video

      A new article mentions that growing pro-war sentiments in Jordan represented a dramatic reversal of what had been growing opposition to participation in the US-led air fight against IS. A third consequence ISIS didn’t count on is this: “State-run media have floated the idea of intervention in Syria – a common practice to gauge public opinion – in what in what is being framed as Jordan’s “right to defend its territory.”

      Since 2011 Jordan had been very hesitant about assisting rebels in Syria and often posed problems at the border. It appears that may change as well. Maybe this is part of the reason why ISIS troops are reportedly withdrawing from Aleppo toward Raqaa and Deir Ezzor. It’s likely some members of ISIS may also be ticked off by the pilot’s burning and its backfire consequences.

      State-run media have floated the idea of intervention in Syria – a common practice to gauge public opinion – in what in what is being framed as Jordan’s “right to defend its territory.”

      Another noteworthy quote: ““The Islamic State has made a very huge error ­– instead of dividing Jordan they have united it, and support for war,” says Marwan Muasher, a former Jordanian foreign minister and a vice president at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

      Another scenario being mulled in Amman is greater training and assistance to the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group that fights both Bashar al-Assad and IS and has some support from the US, to create a “buffer-zone” in southern Syria free of jihadis.

      (So will Jordan now put pressure on Obama to arm and help rebels rather than the reverse?)

      WORTHY OF NOTE

      Past agreements between rebels and YPG often didn’t last long.

      Foreign Policy claims “Jordan’s tough talk against the Islamic State is more show than substance.” However, for domestic reasons I think the king may follow through on what amounts to an opportunity. . He’s had a substantial problem with radicalism in the past. Approximatey 1,500 Jordanians are believed to have gone to Syria earlier to fight for ISIS.

    • Your Twitter “map” is linked incorrectly. The link goes to a search, not a map. And anyway, regime forces would be in a bad situation north of Sheikh Najar for the simple reason that there aren’t any of them there. Their efforts are focused to the EAST of the industrial city.

      Governor’s flight to Jordan is only a morale blow if he stays there, and then only slight. Civilian officials defecting rarely affects military morale, as the grunts despise civilians by default, and that is true of any army in the world, US included. If the governor flies to Damascus next, he will be derided for personal cowardice and largely forgotten about within a week.

      ISIS giving up Aleppo would be big news, unfortunately the biggest beneficiary will be the regime. Without having to worry about ISIS, they can transfer more troops to the western side of the corridor.

      • Oh, and the Jinan attack sounds like a regular guerrilla operation, not an extension of control. Though good on the rebels that they can hit this vital highway even in this limited manner.

      • ANALYSIS OF MILITARY SITUATION & REBUTTING IVAN’S POINTS

        Yesterday’s news, if accurate, suggests major not minor changes in the course of this war. Time will show who is right. The regime has no choice but to minimize it since its troops and loyalists have lots of reason to be concerned otherwise.

        RE: Aleppo Battle Map.

        I’ll try to find a link later. The map I alluded to shows a large tow-shaped formation in the same red color as Sheik Najjar surrounded by a dozen or more green arrows representing rebel attacks from east, west and (importantly) north. Why would rebels surround a large “abandoned” regime position if they could just occupy it and attack the regime directly? That claim makes no sense if the map is accurate. The rebels are attacking somebody in that red area.

        RE: the governor’s alleged flight.

        I know many regime grunts and foreign allies mock Assad and his Damascus thugs as war leaders buy you can’t convince me that if Assad fled to Russia the news would have no impact on the troops. Similarly the governor’s flight, if it has occurred, is akin to a big sign that reads, “I’m getting out of here. Situation hopeless.”

        Re: rebel advance near Salimeyeh.

        Elsewhere you write that it is probably nothing more than a guerilla operation. The context suggests otherwise. Given the potential impact on regime supply lines and the newly announced rebel offensive in Aleppo a move here would make sense, especially if ISIS consolidation efforts include Salimeyeh, where a rebel/ISIS clash is more likely to attract coalition aircraft than a rebel/regime clash.
        If rebels take Adra (and there’s good news there today) the entire east including Palmyra and Deir Ezzor would be cut off from the rebel core.

        Re: Regime efforts concentrated in eastern Aleppo and will benefit by ISIS withdrawal.

        Regime has been getting hammered to the West and defeat there, along with gains in Sheik Najjar would threaten regime forces in the east. In the past, ISIS and the regime often collaborated but less so recently with ISIS attacking both. Nevertheless, some collaboration continued, as in ISIS combing to regime’s rescue in an earlier offensive aimed at Zaraa and Nubl or as in the regime air force often bombing rebels as they fought ISIS. Also, my impression is that most ISIS retreats have been in the north where they’ve faced the rebels. With Kobane fallen and Coalition aircraft freed up, ISIS knows its fighters are less likely to suffer coalition bombing when fighting the regime than when fighting the rebels, Can the regime risk withdrawing forces from Al Safira to reinforce and hang on elsewhere? I suspect ISIS, badly needing a victory, would be quick to take advantage if so.

        Re: The Bigger Picture

        Regime has been “victoryless” for some time in Aleppo while rebels have been sweeping the board, grabbing strategic positions, securing existing supply lines and benefiting from reinforcements caused by victories elsewhere which are likey to increase further soon in the Idlib area. Supply lines gains will increase as consequence of ISIS withdrawals and additional troops will be freed up to attack the regime. In all these areas, regime prospects are totally opposite. Add to this the linkup with the YPG. It probably won’t go beyond the north but after the recent experiences in Kobane it must be obvious to the Kurds that their security would be enhanced by Assad’s ouster in Aleppo and its conversion to solid green (rebels) and yellow (YPG). One thing the Kurds won’t fall for (unlike Obama and his advisors) is that they “need Assad to fight ISIS. Kurds know how few resources Assa spends fighting ISIS compared to the rebels who are bitter opponents of ISIS and who will likely have air cover when fighting ISIS but not the regime and who have greater ground capacity to do so. In Kobane the Kurds and FSA fought ISIS together with coalition aircraft and found a winning formula. Depending on Assad to fight terrorism is a “no winner.” Besides he has been bombing Kurdish civilians recently in northeastern Syria. Rebels have not done so.

        • K, I goofed up a bit, I meant west of Sheikh Najar. The only thing north of Sheikh Najar geographically is Muslimiyah, which the rebels have held since 2013, and Kafr Saghir, which is so small and close to Sheikh Najar it hardly counts as being separate from it.

          If the situation in Daraa is really hopeless, then the troops would have noticed, and that will be the decisive morale factor, not some piss-ass bureaucrat saving his hide. If the situation is not hopeless and the bureaucrat just panicked for no real reason, then there will be no effect. Anyway, we’ll see.

          I’m saying Jinan was a guerrilla raid because if the rebels did take the village then they would of basically surrounded themselves. The front lines are settled basically on the Hama province border to the north and south, neither of which is even close to Jinan. Since the linked article speaks of an attack on a convoy, the conclusion is obvious. To me at least.

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