Syria Daily, May 22: Civilians Trapped in Palmyra After Islamic State Takeover

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PHOTO: Harem in Idlib Province in northwest Syria, hit by US airstrikes in November 2014

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Developing: 200+ Trapped Assad Troops Try to Break Out of National Hospital in Jisr al-Shughour
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Civilians in Palmyra in central Syria are trapped without power and facing shortages, 36 hours after the Islamic State captured the historic city as Syrian forces withdrew.

Residents said many people were unable to flee. One worried, “Power is down and we barely have any electricity or water. There is fear among residents and we do not know what to expect next.”

Claims, including a photograph, are circulating that the Islamic State has executed some men. The victims reportedly included members of the al-Sheitat tribe, hundreds of whom were killed by the Islamic State in eastern Syria last autumn.

The civilians — many now living in basements — also face Syrian airstrikes, with reports that hospitals, clinics, and two mosques were targeted and several people killed.

The official line of the Syrian military and State media is that President Assad’s forces evacuated all civilians as they fled on Wednesday. However, residents have said only high-ranking military officers and their families, as well as some “collaborators”, were able to leave. Some speculate that the State media’s false story was a set-up for the regime to claim that it is bombing a city emptied of civilians.

Those remaining — including hundreds of Syrian soldiers — had to face decapitated bodies in the streets and Islamic State warnings to civilians to turn in any troops “or face the same fate” as Assad’s men.

Claimed footage of the Islamic State in Palmyra after the capture of the city:

Local journalists estimate that about 170,000 people remain in Palmyra. The city had a pre-war population of about 80,000, but they have been joined by tens of thousands of displaced Syrians in the last four years.

The Islamic State captured Palmyra, famed for its ruin from the era of the Roman Empire, after a week-long offensive in which they also took gas fields to the east.

A Syrian soldier, on leave from duty in Palmyra, said that fellow troops told him they had run out of ammunition and that he had seen the phootograph of the decapitated body of a friend, the 19-year-old daughter of a Syrian general. One officer radioed to headquarters, “We’re finished.”

Residents said officers fled, leaving civilians and lowly conscript soldiers to fend for themselves. One business owner said he watched militiamen run wildly into orchards, not sure where to retreat.

A “military source”, from the Syrian Army’s Desert Falcons Brigade), declared that reinforcements are mobilizing in Homs Province to help militia retake Palmyra and its airport. He also assures that the army has secured the perimeter of the Tiyas (T-4) airbase near the city.

Islamic State footage of their victory at the desert town of Sukhna, east of Palmyra:

Advancing on other fronts, the Islamic State seized the al-Tanf crossing on the Iraqi border, defeating units of the Syrian Army’s 18th Tank Battalion.

The crossing was the last held by the Assad regime on the frontier.

The Islamic State also reportedly entered Zone 3 of the Sheikh Najjar industrial area, east of Aleppo, with little resistance from regime forces on Thursday night.


Reports: 200+ Trapped Syrian Troops Try to Break Out of National Hospital in Jisr al-Shughour

More than 200 trapped Syrian troops have tried to escape the National Hospital in Jisr al-Shughour, the city in northwest Syria captured by rebels on April 26.

See Developing: 200+ Trapped Assad Troops Try to Break Out of National Hospital in Jisr al-Shughour


Video: The “White Helmets” Rescuing and Saving Lives in Syria

CNN reports on the “White Helmets” civil defense units, carrying out rescues and saving lives:

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75 COMMENTS

  1. It is disgusting to see the rebel supporters on this site celebrating the destruction of Palmyra and massacre of its inhabitants. Evidently, the “enemy of Assad is their friend” even if that friend murders, rapes, desecrates and pillages. No normal human being should welcome the fall of Palmyra to the cannibals of ISIS.

    • are you blind or just stupid or is you head still up asads backside, you son of a whores have destroyed the whole country and now you cry about one town

      • The armed insurrection is what has destroyed Syria. Democracy comes about through peaceful protest and not through violence. Just look at what has happened in Libya. The only alternative to Assad is a jihadist caliphate.

        • @razelmoon

          You are talking about peaceful protests?
          This peaceful protest has happened everywhere in Syria 2011 –
          and this peaceful protest happened in Jisr al-Shughour, too.

          You can watch this peaceful Jisr al-Shughour protest here:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPOfSIzyBAw

          And you can watch how troops of the Syrian Arab Armee have shot down the peaceful and non-violent protesters.
          Watch it – to understand where the bloody violence has come from.

          You should not fool the people – you are a hypocritical and liar.

          • The Iranians overthrew the Shah purely through peaceful means even when they were massacred in the streets by Shahparast people like yourself.

            • @Razmjoo – The Shah was replaced by a new religious shah. Nothing changed in Iran. Just new rulers replacing the old rulers. You should be ashamed of being a bottom feeding mollaparast and a faaseq of a criminal prophet. The Shah killed about 4000 dissidents. Your dear fascists have killed tens if not a hundred thousand dissident Iranians. Not to mention a million who were sent to their certain deaths trying to annex the Iraqi oil fields and were mowed down like stray dogs.

              • The Iranians voted in the IRI and its constitution in 2 democratic referenda. People like you continue to be in denial of this. Under the IRI, Iranians elect, directly or indirectly, all of their rulers. The huge turnout on election day confirms legitimacy of the system.

              • A Coup Within a Coup like the 2 Russian Revolutions in 1917

                Clerics used the American Embassy siege to oust a broad front revolution, arrest their rivals, and take over much as a well the Bolsheviks did in 1917. There was nothing unbloody about the clerics coup which was followed by thousands of public executions, including those of fellow revolutionaries.

            • @razelmoon alias Kargoosh
              Mehdi Karroubi, the two-time speaker of parliament, was among the closest members of the inner circle of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He has served 8 times different prison sentences during the regime of the former shah of Iran.

              He has reached the age of 80 (!) but the Iranian regime has put him under harsh house arrest.

              He says: “” I (Karroubi) have had several experiences of dealing with the shah’s SAVAK (secret police) before the revolution.
              The behavior of the [intelligence] operatives today was considerably more violent and vicious.””

              Kargoosh – this is just one example you can already see because they are monsters governing Iran today. They are giving Assad a helping hand murdering civilian syrian people and at home they are torturing defenseless very old people.

              The revolution was one of the biggest iranian mistakes.

        • The protests were peaceful when they began 4 years ago. And it was Assad who turned the machine guns on them, without remorse, and without a shred of humanity. Now an Assad lackey is complaining here that the protests should have been peaceful?

          Are all hezbollahi goons as daft as you are? No wonder Mohammedans like you have destroyed or tried to destroy any civilization that you have come across.

          Must really burn to see the left-fascist Strasserite regime of Assad implode so fast like this.

    • You are very selective on the crimes which disgust you. You seem to minimize, when you are not welcoming, Assad’s many crimes.

    • assad food for years isis with rebellious flesh, in his truce without compromise. now the pain in the ass Assad is isis is exploding

    • We are celebration the cowardly retreat of Assadist. He cant save one of the greatest town of human history. SO you Razmjoo or Zoo? Please do not yell. We are more than afraid should the savage IS destroy it before Assad does demolish it with his famous barrels. I had some doubt whether you are Brainless, Today it became more clear….

    • Nobody is celebrating any massacres. ISIS are as bad as Assad. Both glory in violence.

      It is the common fate of revolutions against tyranny to be captured by fanatics who become worse tyrants. Does this mean that vicious tyrants should be tolerated for ever ?

        • On the other hand, this site also attracts people who say that “collateral damage” is o.k. as long as the civilians killed are all Sunni. And who audition as Assad’s defense lawyer for when he is brought to trial for gassing his own people.

          Oddly, it is also a magnet for people who are obsessed with homosexuality and threaten to keep people in basement dungeons for reporting on rebel victories.

          BTW, weren’t you touting a big regime victory in Palmyra the other day?

          • Collateral damage is inevitable if you want to defeat an enemy. The loss of 2 children, (probably more), is regrettable but necessary if the aim is to destroy Al-Nusra. Concern for civilians, didn’t stop the U.S from napalming half of Vietnam or using white phosphorus on the people of Fallujah.

            • Vietnam and Iraq are the appropriate comparisons here. In the former, the tactic did not prevent defeat and in the latter did not ensure lasting victory.

              • The reason the Yankees lost Vietnam and failed in Iraq is because they were an invading and occupying force.

              • And so are the fascist theocracy of Iran an invading force in Syria. See how the Syrians hate the mollas, the IRGC, and their lackeys.

              • “The reason the Yankees lost Vietnam and failed in Iraq is because they were an invading and occupying force.”

                Just like the Iranians in Syria. To say nothing of the coastal Shabiha in the Syrian heartland.

            • @razelmoon
              It`s a colateral damage?
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPOfSIzyBAw
              What you see on the video is Assads bloody hatred against civilians. –

              Colateral damage in Homs and Hama – by Assads barrel bombs killing tens of thousands civilians?

              Same thing with the two kids. What US is doing is fighting terrorists. They should not kill kids.

              • You can’t avoid civilian casualties in urban warfare. The rebels have slaughtered tens of thousands of Syrian civilians.

              • “The rebels have slaughtered tens of thousands of Syrian civilians.”

                Doubtful. Most of the 100 thousand or so civilian casualties have been the result of Assad’s campaign- especially early in the war. The largest proportion of them seemed to be “collateral damage” from aerial attacks with dubious or non-existent military objectives.

              • Nonsense. They have deliberately targeted minorities and have fired thousands of mortars and detonated thousands of car bombs in civilian areas.

              • Thank you again, kargoosh. Irans regime propaganda always works like this: If the iranian regime committed crimes like in syria it pushes the committed crimes into the shoes of something different.

                Why is it not possible for you inventing new tricks?
                You’re just boring today. You should try it harder. Finally you get paid.

              • “They have deliberately targeted minorities and have fired thousands of mortars and detonated thousands of car bombs in civilian areas.”

                Thousands of car bombs!!!? I don’t think so- that would be multiple car bombs a day. Car bombs make the news- there have been a handful or two but not 100s, let alone thousands. The regime held areas are not so porous that the rebels can drive bombs in like it was the LA freeway.

                As for mortars- yeah, the Rebels have been doing what the Regime is doing — but with much smaller weapons and much less ammunition.

                Remember also, many of the civilian deaths happened early in the war, before the armed portion of the rebellion really started in earnest.

            • The US never used white phosphorous on the civilians of Fallujah. US gave warning to the citizens to evacuate Fallujah a week before it routed the Islamic fascists.

              What happened to your claims of Assad victories in Palmyra and Jisr al Shuqur?

              • Did you know that in 1988 the Supreme Fuehrer of Iran ordered the murdering of 30,000 political prisoners. For comparisons sake the number of inmates known to killed at Dachau was 31,000. And keep in mind it was the 1st camp to opened and was liberated the day before Adolf Khamenei’s role model done himself in in his bunker (why dose that have to be the ONE thing they don’t have in common?).

                So in Dachau it takes just under a dozen years to kill 31,000 (I know the total number is likely greater than that but this confirmed kills including Ernst Rohm when he had out lived his usefulness).

                But the IRI kills 30,000 in just one year. Now remember Razmjoo says that that the government that’s political killings are on a scale on par with Dachau are the goodies.

                But I sure the Schweinehund Leader has some totally bogus pseudo-religious explanation of why it was OK for him to slaughter nearly as many people as the SS-KZ Guards at Dachau.

        • And some people here have argued that any civilians still in Palmyra aren’t really civilians and can be killed indiscriminately.

      • Putting its usual sad spin on events, the Syrian state media, SANA, published the following this morning:

        “The force defending the national hospital of Jisr al-Shughour carried out today morning a tactical manoeuvre and managed to break the siege successfully,” a military source told SANA. The soldiers have been freed and left the hospital, carrying their dead or injured fellow members, and are heading to army posts in Idlib countryside.

        SANA reporter in Jisr al-Shughour city, which is located in western Idlib province, said the soldiers are now out of the hospital.”

        A SANA reported in Jisr Al-Shughur will be news to the Opposition alliance.

      • Recent reports suggest that around 50 of Assad’s soldiers were killed initially, 65 taken prisoner, including officers (one being Brigadier Mahmoud Sabha) and another 50 or so are still on the run being hunted down in olive and orange groves.

  2. Residents — supporters and opponents of President Bashar al-Assad — described officers fleeing, leaving civilians and lowly conscript soldiers to fend for themselves. One business owner said he watched pro-government militiamen run helter-skelter into orchards, not sure where to retreat. “Treason,” he called it.

    Frantic Message as Palmyra, Syria, Fell: ‘We’re Finished’

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/22/world/middleeast/syria-palmyra-ruins-isis.html

  3. Syrian Army Makes Fresh Gains in Aleppo
    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940301000204

    “The Army killed tens of terrorists and captured their positions in Andan, Khan al-Asal, Handarat, Soran and Bani Zaid in Aleppo countryside. Military sources had informed earlier in the week that the Syrian army and the Kurdish Popular Defense Committees were advancing towards Aleppo-Hasaka international highway.”

    • Right. And they’ve recaptured Mastoumeh and never lost Palmyra where they are in full control. Meanwhile Deir Ezzor has been cleansed of all ISIS fighters. SANA and FARS are wonderful.

  4. What a treat! Oh, so neat!
    The Regime Suffers its Daily Defeat.

    YESTERDAY the last border post other than Lebanon to the outside world.

    TODAY, the hospital in Jisr Al Shughour.

    TOMORROW: Ariha which it no longer makes sense to hold.

    SUNDAY IF NOT SOONER: Sheik Najjar.

  5. PLANS FOR A COASTAL KINGDOM COULD FACE TROUBLE AS LOYALIST DISGUST WITH REGIME GROWS

    Severe economic and military obstacles aren’t the only obstacles. A new one is likely on the way.
    What happens when loyalists hear about the latest defeats and watch the coffins arrive in droves? Worst of all, what happens when they learn how the regime blocked the exits for its own soldiers and up to 100,000 civilians while withdrawing big shot generals and security officials as Aleppo approached.

    A major reason to block the exits was to avoid the dramatic embarassment tens of thousands of fleeing civilians would have caused. Panic might ensue because it the dramatic scenes would underline the regime’s collapsing nature, its inability to protect them, its mendaciously and the sheer self-saving nature of those at the top.

    How many of the “Left Behind” in Aleppo have relatives and frieds on the coast? In light of how the regime behaved at Tabqa and at Deir Ezzor (well known to all), will loyalist civilians be so stupid as to continue to believe the regime’s lies about what it did in Palmyra or will the finally wake up? And when they do, what will happen?

    It won’t help that the lastest news from Idlib, Palmyra, Aleppo and Deir Ezzor could well start a flight of civilians from Damascus as well, now that ISIS has acquired a direct route. Will the regime try to block that too. What happens when all these refugees arrive on the coast? Will Assad move to oust all Sunni residents?

  6. From Politico:

    ISIS RUNS CIRCLES AROUND OBAMA WHEN IT COMES TO STRATEGY

    Actual Title: “Barack Obama Still Misunderestimates ISIL”

    Link:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/05/barack-obama-still-misunderestimates-isil-118204.html#.VV85901_ly3

    OBAMA’S TWO-PART STRATEGY DESCRIBED IN HIS OWN WORDS IN A NEW ADDRESS TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

    “The first thing we must do is to preserve the Assad Regime at all cost since it is the key to defeating ISIS. It’s fall would be a disaster for ISIS. Therefore, as president, I will do all I can to preserve the regime from all harm. That is, to be Assad’s Guardian Angel if you will.”

    “The second essential is to work with Iran and PUtin and see that a major role for both is preserved in the region. It is Iran’s actions–her quested for a Co-Prosperity Sphere in the neighborhood–which assures peace and security and that is why choose to work so closely with Iranian Shia militias while rightly scoffing at the incompetent farmers and teachers who make up the so-called rebellion.”

    NOTE: The above is satire. Obama may not have stated it outright but it appears to capture exactly how he thinks.

    Aside from his refusal of a no fly zone, the best example is his recent demand to Alloush that the rebels not bombard the government buildings, especialy security service ones, where plans for genocide are carried out and targets for barrel bombs and chemical bombs determined.

    • @Kargoosh, it wasn`t the point of the articel.

      SAA has droopped 8,919 barrel bombs by helicopter and 8,035 raids by war planes –

      killed 2,921 civilians,
      of whom 689 were under the age of 18, and 475 women.
      another 18,000 people were wounded.

      Tell me you deceitful and two-faced liar – for what? – because the iranian regime conected with the the massmurder Assad is loosing the syrian war. The items you have quoted by are acknowledging that Iranian cowards connected with SAA can only fight unarmed civilians.

      Do you have understood now the matter of fact or do you you need it even 200 comments more?
      Your brain also works very slowly, Kargoosh?

      • “The strikes killed a total of 1,024 rebel fighters, including jihadis from the Nusra Front and ISIS.”

        So they are working.

        • When the Iranian regime falls, any Iranian collaborator with the Assad regime will be pursued and prosecuted for war crimes. Rest assured Khargoosh that none of you criminals will be spared. You can’t go dropping barrel bombs and Sarin on people’s children and get away with it.

  7. SHACKLED!

    “Special Ops to Obama: Let Us Fight ISIS, Already”

    They’re supposed to be at the forefront of the battle against ISIS. But U.S. special operators say the Obama administration’s restrictive rules of war are harming their mission.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/22/special-ops-to-obama-let-us-fight-isis-already.html?via=mobile&source=twitter

    MUST READ EXCERPT

    They were eager to talk about their aggravation over fighting by remote in Iraq and Syria: having to advise Iraqis, Kurdish Peshmerga, and rebel Syrian fighters from afar instead of joining them in battle.

    “We are doing everything through cellphones… It’s hard to do much when you can’t go outside the wire,” said one special operator, using the military jargon for the perimeter of a base.

    They blame the hands-off approach on an Obama administration unwilling to risk even small numbers of American lives in battle, burned by the fallout of the loss of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, and intent on preserving the legacy of President Barack Obama’s troop drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “You can’t say ‘We’re with you every step of the way, except when you are going on combat operations,’” said a former senior special operations official briefed on the ISIS campaign.

    THE SOURCES OF OBAMA’S PARALYSIS (My analysis):

    Obama makes LBJ look like a totally hands off guy. Suzie is a compulsive micromanager. Ditto Ben Rhodes who adores Khamenei and encourages Obama’s Iran fantasies.

    A key psychological component in Obama’s thinking from Day One is DDSS (Don’t Do Something Stupid). The problem with that is that you can’t fight ISIS without taking risks. Obama is so concerned about making mistakes he winds up paralyzed.

    His other psychological tendence is to invent misperceptions in his own mind. Thus rebels and ISIS still are mediocre fighters compared to the Assad regime or the Iraqi army. Thus, his fantasies about Iran becoming a cuddly teddy bear show no sign of happening in reality. He sticks to such pre-conceptions come hell or high water.

  8. Daily Star’s Great Editorial on Assad

    THE FUTURE RESTS IN A BUNKER

    Sampler:

    The leaders of dictatorial regimes are always in danger of falling deep into the “bunker mentality,” where their isolation is a prelude to a dramatic demise. In this region a few of the most notorious recent examples of this have been Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, who were unable to cope with the fact that they had lost control over their respective countries, before finally coming to their much-publicized, ignominious ends.

    Bashar Assad is the latest example of such behavior as the Syrian president is increasingly detached from reality. Assad appears to be unconcerned with the staggering high level of casualties that his armed forces are suffering; senior regime figures have also been disappearing from the scene of late, but none of this has changed the way the regime does business..

    ***

    Exactly! Early on I strongly recommended the dramatic and accurate German movie, Downfall and a key reason is because it shows how little such dictators care for “their people” in the end and how it’s only then so many come to understand that. These dictators are ever willing to take their once avid followers down to the grave with them, proclaiming like Hitler in his bunker, “They didn’t deserve me so what should I care what happens to them!”

    Assad is a dead ringer. Now as in 1945, young boys and old men are being rounded up to defend a hopeless cause, as ISIS–not the Red Army–advances. Where Hitler sent thugs around with ladders and rope to hang any malingerers, Assad has them shot.

    When his followers chanted “Assad or Syria burns” they thought the slogan would never come back and apply to them. Now as ISIS advances it surely does. IF they hadn’t backed Assad’s original assault on democracy, if they hadn’t believed his every word and kissed his pictures, if they had only acted earlier to overthrow Assad and formed an alliance with the rebels and democratic government ISIS would not be where it is today and the Islamists on the rebel side would not be what they’ve become–a tendency encouraged by regime propaganda and by Obama’s horrific betrayals and catering to Iran.

    To any loyalists starting to worry or wondering what the Last Days might be like, I strongly urge you run (don’t walk) and get your hands on a copy of Downfall. Highly rewatchable and worth the money. It’s also one of the best films ever.

    http://dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Editorial/2015/May-22/298867-future-rests-in-a-bunker.ashx

  9. To Alawites and Other Regime Loyalists

    YOU NEED HELP & CAN”T GET IT UNLESS ASSAD GOES. THESE GUYS ARE COMING FOR YOU EVERYWHERE

    Incredible video shows Why Defenders of Al Sukhnah had to know they were dead men walking in a no quarter battle with no place to run.

    Do you want your wives and daughters married off to bearded ISIS thugs, or used as comfort women for ISIS troops? You can’t defeat ISIS iso long as you must fight two enemies at once and even then it may be too late.

    Dump Assad, arrest the war criminals and form an alliance with the rebels. It is your chance and even then it won’t save all. Every minute counts. Time is wasting. Assad is in his bunker mentality and he is gong to take you with him.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeNqYXCEFhA

    • “To Alawites and Other Regime Loyalists”

      So now you have turned into a pamphleteer!, what a character!

    • No question that the Alawites will be slaughtered when Damascus and Aleppo fall. To believe that you can throw barrel bombs and Scuds on people’s children and get away with it, just shows you deserve the Darwin Prize. Alawites must move for peace by deposing the mass murderer, and it is almost too late now. The world is not going to shed too many tears when they are pushed to sea. You can’t slaughter people and then claim victimhood when they come after you.

  10. IRISH TIMES PROVIDES DETAILS OF A BLOOD PURGE IN CONQUERED PALMYRA

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/islamic-state-conducts-purge-in-palmyra-after-takeover-1.2222614

    SAMPLER:

    Islamic State militants have been searching through the Syrian town of Palmyra for government troops and fighters, and activists are claiming at least 150 have been killed in the past two days.

    IS fighters have been using lists of names and informers to track targets down and have shot some dead on the spot, activists said.

    ***

    The worst is yet to come. Dozens have been arrested and you know what is likely to come. Hundreds off regime troops are trying to hide in town. A curfew is in effect. People must show IDs.

    Coming down the road: Hundreds, even thousands of executions. Women and girls dragged off for forced marriage to ISIS fighters or for houses of prostitutions. Forced conversions or slaughters of Alawites. Thank Assad who abandoned these people, blocked the exists and pulled his top favorites out to safety.

    WARNING! RED ALERT!

    Even if loyalists dump the war criminals tomorrow and ally with the rebels, its likely too late for these people who Assad deserted.

    Don’t wait until others are in the same situation. Dump Assad and form alliances now. At that point Obama can’t withhold coalition aircraft. It’s likely special forces could stiffen resolve on the ground. However, Obama may resist that as special forces have complained. See my post on that below.

    • Ha! Ha! Ramzoo futilely attempts to balance the scales as regime loses and loses and loses. The battle in Qalamoun isn’t over, doesn’t matter anymore and would tie down Hezbollah in large garrison forces afterwards or be lost again. Strategically nothing that has happened there can compare with regimes losses in Palmyra and Idlib government. Ditto for the regime’s plight in Aleppo, Deir Ezzor and the Damascus area and points south.

      The ship is sinking, buster. Find a life boat. Nothing can save Assad now. Best possible outcome for Alawites–an alliance with rebels which is impossible unless they dump and arrest Assad and war criminals and do so before it’s too late. Otherwise ISIS benefits and picks off both separately.

      • “Sure we’ve lost two cities of 100,000+ people in the past couple of weeks but we captured three olive tree groves in Qualamoun and liberated a particularly attractive goat for Bashar’s harem.

    • Khargoosh, this report is a joke. It says Hezbollah finally managed to take over the highest peak of the Qalamoun, which is Tal Moussa. What they dont tell you is that this peak is on the border of Lebanon and Syria. In other words, Hezbollah has not managed to gain into Syria. Just took some Lebanese territory back. Something that would have been returned after a cease fire.

  11. PALMYRA BATTLEFRONT: What’s Happening Now?

    ISIS now advancing on T-4, remaining oil fields.

    Back on November 3rd, Bellingcat wrote a great analysis entitled, “Has the Islamic State Set its Eyes on T4 (Tiyas)?” It is excellent in explaining why that may be Assad’s most important airbase and thus as timely as ever. See:

    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2014/11/03/has-the-islamic-state-set-its-eyes-on-t4-tiyas/

    This map shows how hopelessly isolated T-4 is–as badly as Deir Ezzor.

    http://img.ly/BUD6.

    What’s left of Shaer oil fields is pretty effectively surrounded. Jazl and Jihar to S are taken, Mahr field under attack. Other forces to west and north.–Karybdis

    Kinetic attacks on the T4 airbase seem to have withered, but ISIS is advancing from #Palmyra, and is about 15km off as of last note.–Karybdis

    ISIS control the 20km long groves area between #Palmyra and Tiyas Military Airport–Tazimorocco

    From The Guardian (UK)

    First Ramadi, then Palmyra: Isis shows it can storm bastions of Syria and Iraq

    Terror group faced little resistance from local forces, prompting re-evaluations across a region that had sensed it might be in retreat

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/21/isis-palmyra-ramadi-advances-say-more-about-state-weakness-than-jihadi-strength?CMP=share_btn_tw

  12. LOYALISTS MUST PRAY ISIS DOES NOT DEFEAT REBELS IN COMING BATTLE NEAR HAMA

    Daily Beast Headline: ISIS and the New ‘Army of Conquest’ in Syria Are Headed for a Showdown

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/22/isis-and-the-new-army-of-conquest-in-syria-are-headed-for-a-showdown.html?via=desktop&source=twitter

    Rebels are moving in on Hama from the north while ISIS is doing like wise from the east. There are three possible outcomes–all bad for the regime but one far worse.

    Outcome #1: Rebels and ISIS keep their distant and attack Hama separately.

    Outcome #2: Rebels/ ISIS clash. Rebels win and ISIS is driven off while rebels continue to threaten Hama.

    Outcome #3: ISIS wins and crushes the rebels as it did to Assad’s forces in Palmyra and Irarqi forces in Ramadi.

    The latter would be the worst possible outcome for loyalists and for Obama. Consider how massively ISIS would benefit.

    1. The north: Taking over Idlib province from routed enemies, it could then threaten Latakia and Aleppo.

    2. Recruitment: ISIS could probably recruit tens of thousands of experienced fighters–the most valuable sort. Feeling betrayed by Obama and with far more grievances against Assad than against ISIS, rebels are likely to join if given a choice not available to Alawites. You bet ISIS knows that.

    3. Central Syria: ISIS would have lots of choices. Ub Qalamoun they could wipe out Hezbollah. In Homs they could commit dramatic, panic-inducing crimes against a most loyalist population. But Hama still looks best. It has lots of regime-hating Sunnis but reports say many are attracted to ISIS after giving up on the rebels and Obama (see as betraying them).

    ALTERNATE POSSIBILITIES

    SCENARIO A: Rebels limit any advance south toward Hama or hit only to the northwest, staying out of ISIS way. So long as Assad remains in power, the rebels best move would be to go after Aleppo instead while the regime and ISIS fight it out near Hama (ISIS will win that one). That will force Assad’s forces in Aleppo, caught between rebels and ISIS, to make a choice unavailable to their peers in Deir Ezzor.

    SCENARIO B (This one saves large numbers of trapped regime troops and loyalist civilians)

    Loyalists enable an immediately alliance with the rebels by ousting Assad and war criminals BEFORE any such clashes can occur. In that case, combined rebel, Alawite and Coalition forces could hit ISIS near Hama and in Aleppo could potentially inflict huge, Kobane-like defeats on divided ISIS forces. They can’t do much to help the folks in Palmyra but troops in Deir Ezzor might be rescued if they can hold out while ISIS is driven out of Aleppo and the New Alliance advances on Raqaa.

    Another desirable advantage of Scenario #2 is that it would strengthen the odds against a takeover of extreme Islamists once Assad is gone. As I keep stressing, the longer loyalists wait to move against Assad, the less advantages they’ll reap from the move and the more risk they face from ISIS.

    • ISIS has another advantage working for it in Homs/Hama area–one it always employs to create chaos before and during an impoending attack: Sleeper cells.

      Early on they’ll knock off essential figures. The attack will usually being with lots of suicide and car bombs, like th3 30 or so in Ramadi. I’ve already stated that the rebel failure to protect them in Homs, mainly because Obama kept them as disarmed as possible, has created a lot of pro-ISIS mood in the area. The regime is hated most, but rebels, tainted by Obama’s betrayals, and Obama himself fare next in line. What better way to return Obama’s proverbial inner figure than to turn to ISIS?

    • The whole thing smells like a set-up to me. Days after Obama announces that the war will go on till at least 2017, as the rebels rout Assad in Idlib, the Iraqis run away from Tikrit and Assad’s cannon fodder roll over in Palmyera as Isis gets a clear run without the US dropping so much as a pea on them but suddenly bombing JAN. Isis are resupplied and on the road to block the opposition. It almost looks as if, in the grand scheme of things at the white house, the rebels arent meant to get any further until they sign the geneva contract, if Assad can’t hold them down then Isis will try. But the best laid plans of mice and men..

      • Great point why is Barry wasting time on JAN when he should be blasting Daesh? Its like a policeman letting Sidney Cooke or John Wayan Gacy get away to catch a pick pocket.

        I can’t make any sense out of his policies. When Daesh and the Baathists fight I want sit on my deck chair and drink some pinna colada. But why not bomb their huge convoys? When not bomb them in towns and villages that the FSA are going to advance on?

        At the rate the Baath is being drained they won’t have conference to go to. It will just be Bashar Jafari and Bitchainia Shabaan, who be arrested afterword’s by the opposition.

        • it’s obvious but no one here has pointed it out, that the US had someone in the opposition supplying intelligence on the opposition for them to know the location of nusra people and target them for bombing.

  13. BREAKING NEWS FROM PALMYRA AREA

    ISIS has captured the Jazal Oilfield,after heavy clashes with Regime forces there.–Abdel Rahman
    Southwest of Palmyra, ISIS has also captured theBusayri Checkpoint. reports Tazi Morocco. I doubt any regime fighters survived.

    ISIS have killed and beheaded 27 men in Deir ez-Zor in 72 hours–Abu ouhammed

    ISIS LOYALISTS TAKE CREDIT FOR BIG SUICIIDE BOMBING IN SAUDI ARABIA

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/76d48760d33748769bd3d067ac0a17fc/suicide-bomber-targets-shiite-worshippers-saudi-arabia

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