Syria Daily: Pro-Assad Forces Make Further Advance in East Aleppo

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PHOTO: The devastated Hanano district of Aleppo, recaptured by pro-Assad forces on November 26


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UPDATE 1830 GMT: On the Ground News, which continues to report from inside eastern Aleppo city, speaks to a resident about the pro-Assad offensive — including constant shelling and bombing, and chlorine attack — and the pressure on civilians to flee or face death.


UPDATE 1700 GMT: The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and the US have issued a joint statement on the situation in Aleppo:

A humanitarian disaster is taking place before our very eyes. Some 200,000 civilians, including many children, in eastern Aleppo are cut off from food and medicine supplies. Aleppo is being subjected to daily bombings and artillery attacks by the Syrian regime, supported by Russia and Iran. Hospitals and schools have not been spared. Rather, they appear to be the targets of attack in an attempt to wear people down. The images of dying children are heart breaking. We condemn the actions of the Syrian regime and its foreign backers, especially Russia, for their obstruction of humanitarian aid, and strongly condemn the Syrian regime’s attacks that have devastated civilians and medical facilities and use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons.

The leaders called on the Assad regime to accept an immediate ceasefire and “on Russia and Iran to use their influence to help make this happen”.

Earlier this week Russia vetoed a UN resolution for a halt to military operations. However, claims are circulating that Moscow and Iran are willing to discuss a five-day ceasefire proposed by the local opposition, while the Assad regime has rejected the initiative.

The statement offered no answer if Damascus continues to block a ceasefire and aid to eastern Aleppo city, beyond saying, “We are ready to consider additional restrictive measures against individuals and entities that act for or on behalf of the Syrian regime.”


UPDATE 1200 GMT: Russian warplanes continue their assault aross Idlib and Aleppo Provinces — footage from Tuesday night of incendiary munitions dropping on Hraitan, northwest of Aleppo city:

The Local Coordination Committees recorded the killing of 127 people on Tuesday, including 23 children and 17 women.

Of the casualties, 67 were in Aleppo Province and 44 in Idlib Province.


UPDATE 1030 GMT: The Syrian military is claiming control of Aleppo’s Old City, which had long been divided between the regime and the opposition.

Pro-Assad forces have now taken about 75% of the opposition area in eastern Aleppo city since November 26.


UPDATE 1025 GMT: The opposition’s Aleppo Local Council has proposed an immediate 5-day humanitarian ceasefire, with evacuation of all civilians who wish to leave east Aleppo city as well as the sick and wounded.

However, the council says that the evacuations cannot be to opposition-held Idlib Province, because of ongoing Russian-regime aerial attacks and because the area is already full of internally-displaced people.

Rebel factions have issued their own statement in support of the council.

aleppo-local-council-statement-12-16

Journalist Borzou Daragahi offers further information:


UPDATE 1020 GMT: The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed that one of its colonels has been killed in Aleppo city.

The colonel was identified as Ruslan Galitsky. The Ministry said he was severely wounded days ago.

russia-colonel-killed-aleppo-12-16

On Sunday two Russian medics were killed and a doctor wounded when rebel shells. hit a field hospital in a mobile Russian base in the city.


ORIGINAL ENTRY: Pro-Assad forces made a further advance in opposition areas of Aleppo on Tuesday, including the capture of much of a key district of Syria’s largest city.

Foreign forces and the Syrian army and militias moved into the Sha’ar district, taking almost all opposition territory north of the Aleppo Citadel. The pro-Assad offensive also regained all areas lost in the rebel counter-attack on Monday.

With the surge, the three-week offensive — Iranian units, Hezbollah fighters, and Iraqi, Palestinian, and Afghan militias as well as regime units — has occupied between 1/2 and 2/3 of the opposition area.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry, following Russia’s lead, said in a statement that it will not accept a ceasefire, as this would give rebels a chance to “regroup and repeat their crimes” in Aleppo.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Moscow will continue to support the regime’s operations against “terrorists” and “extremists”.

Russia and the regime have cut off food and supplies to eastern Aleppo city since late August, while killing more than 1,200 civilians since September 19 in air attacks. The pro-Assad offensive has led to an estimated 50,000 civilians fleeing to regime or Kurdish areas, but more than 200,000 are believed to remain in the opposition districts.

On Monday, Russia used its veto to block a UN Security Council measure for a 7-day ceasefire. Yesterday it had to announce that its political effort with the US had been temporarily suspended, with the Americans refusing a meeting in Geneva.

Moscow proclaimed last week that it received a proposal by US Secretary of State John Kerry for the withdrawal of all rebels from eastern Aleppo.

Special forces from Chechnya prepare to join the Russian deployment in Syria:


Médecins Sans Frontières‎ Ends Operations for Refugees in Jordan Camp

Médecins Sans Frontières‎ has regrettably decided” to end its operations in Jordan’s Zaatari camp for displaced persons, because of Jordan closing its border to Syrians trying to cross.

An estimated 80,000 Syrians are trapped between sand banks in the desert Rukban camp, known as “The Berm”, after Jordan sealed the frontier in late 2015.

See Syria Feature: Refugees Near Jordan’s Border Struggle to Survive — and Now There’s No Water


a “military source” denied that the base itself was struck, saying the missiles landed “nearby”.

Pro-regime Al Mayadeen also said, “It is almost certain that Zionist rockets targeted the Mazzeh Military Airport from Lebanese airspace.”

Israel has periodically carried out airstrikes on regime facilities and convoys, seeking to prevent the transfer of missiles and weapons to Hezbollah.]

Multiple reports, including from pro-Assad accounts, say explosions have rocked the Mezzeh military base in southern Damascus.

The blast occurred between 3 and 4 a.m. local time. Pro-opposition accounts say a missile hit the complex, close to the Presidential Palace.

Last week, Israeli warplanes fired two missiles on the al-Sabboura area west of Damascus.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. 1. Amid JI-Joe collapse in Old Aleppo, the SAA liberates the Umayyad Mosque:
    https://twitter.com/loomisroberto/status/806272647726145536
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    2. Latest map — no more JI-Joe positions North of Citadel:
    https://twitter.com/A7_Mirza/status/806290694172184576
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    3. They’ve been whittled down to their last 10,000 civilian hostages:
    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/10000-civilians-stuck-jihadist-held-pocket-aleppo/
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    4. To fit the occasion … an FSA flag update:
    https://twitter.com/oulosP/status/806269557941760000
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    5. Now the race is on to find most butthurt NATO fanboi:
    https://twitter.com/Atvar99/status/806270664994754560
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    6. The Jonkharrie naturally doesn’t know which end of him is up, as Plans B, C & D turn to liquid shit in the hands of this Master Craftsman:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/syrian-rebels-in-talks-with-us-about-surrender-in-aleppo-evacuation/2016/12/06/613e4196-bbcb-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html?utm_term=.57e63b20c9ff#comments
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    7. After SAA controlled 85-90% of original E. Aleppo Kessel, JI-Joes say they’re now ready for a 5-day truce to evacuate 500 seriously-injured fighters — AlJazeera:
    https://twitter.com/HasanSari7/status/806416192265129985
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    8. But it may be a little too late for second thoughts, as the Rooskies, apparently taking the bombing of their field hospital kinda personally, have now released their Special Forces into E. Aleppo & the Old City and they’ve reportedly hunted and killed many JI-Joes in the past 72 hours:
    https://twitter.com/Brasco_Aad/status/806411359437156352
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    9. Tayyip: “It’s all cool, my JI-Joe Dudez! Allah giveth … then Allah taketh away …
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CzDyTapWgAQ20Xd.jpg

    • The phrase “The Jonkharrie naturally doesn’t know which end of him is up, as Plans B, C & D turn to liquid shit in the hands of this Master Craftsman” was a highlight for me.

    • Looks that way: as this new map shows, they are now compressed down to just 5 districts — Sheikh Sa’id, Sukkari, Bustan Qasr, Kallase, Kar’am al Dada — which, if there are really ~5,000 fighters left, must make for an invitingly target-rich environment:
      https://twitter.com/NatDefFor/status/806479838198501376
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      At the rate they are being overrun, this can last another week tops, and with SAA & Co. on a roll, hungry for a much-needed sweeping victory [and the corresponding crushing of enemy morale], there will be no ceasefire under any imaginable circumstances.
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      Lavrov’s job is to keep the Yankis just jabbering and pointing as their p[r]oxy ship goes down, and you have to admit, he’s pretty damned good at it!

    • While outside help has boiled down to nothing more than a miserable sobbing, turkey´s armata brancaleone is stranded somewhere in north-aleppo.

  2. “UPDATE 1700 GMT: The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and the US have issued a joint statement on the situation in Aleppo:———–”
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    So, the leaders of all of these countries now accept the truth. Now there is no excuse for doing nothing. If the free world does not now take military action the shame will live with them forever.
    Our leaders can no longer pretend that they do not know what the Ruskie pigs are doing in Syria. The Ruskies are as evil as they are dishonest, and they have to be stopped.

    • Learn to read between the lines — the ‘statement’ is a PR-ritual, washing their hands of the matter, and as for shame, these hardened NATO warcrims never had any in the first place … otherwise they wouldn’t have started and promoted this filthy and illegal proxy war with such cavalier abandon.

  3. “…UPDATE 1830 GMT: On the Ground News(…) speaks to a resident”.
    None of those two looks like “a resident”. Both with a heavy British accent, one of them identified as “a Turk”. Both look like Islam poster boys with thick, yet well groomed beards (no water there, yes?) and the usual Islamist greetings.

  4. Two interesting article:
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    http://en.eldorar.com/node/3915
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    This picture from the above link shows the airbase in Damascus set on fire by the Israeli airforce:
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    http://cden.eldorar.org/sites/default/files/styles/600×316/public/field/image/20_7.jpg?itok=XRt9wuT7
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    This is what Nayrab airbase should look (but won’t if they don’t start using spotters) like if rebels shelled it with their rockets properly.
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    This article is however the most interesting – it’s about hybrid warfare based on the Chechen experience, page 56 mentions how Chechen fighters created and used multiple small-unit hunter squads (with each member of the team assigned a special role/weapon) with each squad coordinating each other in an interactive way (e.g. exchanging information more accurately and quickly then their Russian opponents, this information could be an accidental discovery of a Russian hiding place or the best tactic/method in particular location to demobilise Russian troop movements) so as to manoeuvre Russian soldiers into an inescapable Chechen ambush. This networked approach can only work if each/all of these small-unit hunter squads are connected to each other so far Russians have prevented this from happening by Russian airstrikes as well as rebel’s or unwillingness to consider jamming the comms devices of regime fighters.
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    http://calhoun.nps.edu/bitstream/handle/10945/5865/02Jun_Nemeth.pdf?sequence=1
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    Definite recommended reading.

  5. #Aleppo: 1) “result of a failed attack by pro-Regime forces in Saad Ansari. KIA and an #Iran|ian officer captured.” – QalaatAlMudiq
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    Tie that man/officer to a lamppost or some visible public place, gag and blind him (with cloth of course) then place land-mines around him and then place a concealed sniper on one of the buildings nearby then leak the news to regime fighters and wait for enough of a shiite rescue squad to arrive so havoc can be caused. Do this with multiple capture IRGC/Hezbollah/Republican-Guards officers, if they senior officers then make the bigger the ambush even bigger by having the news leaked to multiple shiite regime groups and instead of using a sniper use a concealed TOWie team instead.
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    2) “Jaish Al-Islam targeted Regime fortifications on Al-Zahraa front with Elephant rockets. ” – QalaatAlMudiq
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    Against fortified positions that can be isolated shelling won’t just work on it’s own, that fortified position needs to be infiltrated also.
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    #Latakia: “Rebels thwarted an attack by pro-Regime forces on #Kabana front.” – QalaatAlMudiq
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    I still standby my claim that ‘motti tactics’ would be ideal for the rebels of both Latakia/Homs/southern Aleppo.
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHrndb0oZEc
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    #Observation: Rebels want to avenge the loss of territory in eastern Aleppo? Not only re-activate the Hama and southern Aleppo front to divert regime attention by going after vulnerable regime positions (e.g. Hama – brigade 66/67 ammo centre in eastern Hama, expanding operations on the Ithriya-highway by using more mobile troops and mobile artillery) but snatching important strategic places like jabal Azaan (will isolate Haider) and Kernak (will isolate Suqaylabiyah[sp?} from rest of Hama) so as to panic regime into diverting regime troops away from eastern Aleppo and give the rebel fighters their fewer regime troops to deal with and more time to fortify their positions against the regime.Learn from past insurgencies and successful defeat of Russian-supporting forces (e.g. the motti tactics of the Finns, the Chechen urban warfare methods – see link below – as well as the methods of the Vietcong).
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    http://calhoun.nps.edu/bitstream/handle/10945/5865/02Jun_Nemeth.pdf?sequence=1
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    Rebel’s strength is not in manpower (the Iranians can always import more shiite fighters) nor in firepower (the Russians can import more jets) but in mobility, this advantage in mobility however can only become decisive if rebels can demobilise (ie pin them down in one – e.g. IEDs on their supply-routes, land-mines on their assembly points, booby-traps in buildings they/regime need to capture, sabotage of regime listening-posts and artillery sighting spots, jamming regime comms and special ops against senior officers who coordinate offensives against rebels as well as using infiltration to place beacons or any device that will assist rebels to shell/grad regime defence barriers more accurately, baiting and trapping regime informants so rebels know more then regime) regime troops. But the other side of that coin is that rebels themselves must become more mobile (e.g. not only creating motorbike assault-teams but also making a larger number of their light artillery mounted on vehicles, welding TOWie onto dune-buggies etc) so they can move from one location to another before regime or can attack a regime place before regime can request support from their Russian/Iranian backers but also so they can quickly disperse and hide whilst being attacked by Russian jets.

    • insurgency began as a guerrilla force, in the worst case to return to the same, in such case could last for many years, if the regime supports it, the rebels have the great advantage of the demography they are like the 70% (sunis) for many who die there are millions of children in refugee camps who someday will be adults with a great hatred inside

      • Do not forget that the 2011 Syria rebellion began with the graffiti of a 12-year-old boy who was mutilated and tortured to death, then left lying next to the family home

  6. An interesting and very realistic summary of the potential future directions the IRGC-backed shiite militias of the region might become: “While the SAA will likely spend years rebuilding post-war, what will happen to the thousands of Iranian-backed, battle-hardened militias? …It’s important not to understate IRGC’s model of popular mobilisation. The lines between war and peace are fluid, functions are adaptable. Thus post-war Syria will not necessarily see a decline of IRGC influence, rather it could trigger the next phase of IRGC expansion. For IRGC, war really is peace. War creates the foundations of the revolutionary state, allowing rapid consolidation of sociopolitical power” – samtamiz
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    I hope all of Iran’s neighbours, including the KRG of northern Iraq, take note and prepare (ie develop their intelligence/surveilling gathering methods and military capability) because it might be their state next.

  7. If Mattis was the President of the US, instead of being the next/future Defense secretary, rather then Trump the middle east I suspect would be a far more better place if his following comments are correct:
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    https://medium.com/center-for-strategic-and-international-studies/gen-james-mattis-the-middle-east-at-an-inflection-point-295549bf91d1#.5l70r8lvk
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    Excerpt from above link: “ISIS right now — by the way, I consider ISIS nothing more than an excuse for Iran to continue its mischief. Iran is not an enemy of ISIS. They have a lot to gain from the turmoil in the region that ISIS creates. And I would just point out one question for you to look into: What is the one country in the Middle East that has not been attacked by ISIS? One, and it’s Iran. Now, there’s got — that is more than just happenstance, I’m sure…It’s going to be a — the Middle East, the future is going to be ghastly. It is not going to be pleasant for any of us. And we’re going to have to return to a strategic view, such as we had years ago, because we know that vacuums left in the Middle East seem to be filled by either terrorists, or by Iran or their surrogates, or by Russia. Recognize that the violent terrorists, two different brands. The Sunni is the al-Qaida, OK. That’s one. That’s clear and present. We’ve hit them from the FATA in Afghanistan, Pakistan, to where the French are treating them roughly down in Mali. And there’s a lot of effort focused on them. But so far to date, the Iranian brands have basically been left untouched by our counterterrorism efforts.”
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    You have to admire the clarity of his stance and ability to think through a position which is something more then can be said of the Obama administration.

  8. Sad, Barbara has been in a frenzy lately celebrating death and destruction. I’ll celebrate when you are gone. Vile scum like Barbara and Andrea deserve only the worst humanity has to offer since that’s all they celebrate

    • If you were offended by death and destruction, you’d be outraged by what the US and it’s allies have done to Fallujah and Mosul.

      You’re just sour that in your mind, the US has lost this proxy conflict against Russia and that Hillary won’t be ridingeni to save the day.

    • Sad, Barbara has been in a frenzy lately celebrating death and destruction

      Funny how you have no problem with death and destruction in Mosul, Fallijah or Yemen.
      As you would be doing if your heros were dishing it out as opposed to being on the receiving end.

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