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ISIS update 3/18/2017.. Militants begin leaving last bastion in Homs

Saturday, March 18, 2017 11:33
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Militants begin leaving last bastion in Syria’s Homs

Buses enter Homs to take militants away

 Deir Ezzur, ISIL’s New Capital: Senior Terrorist Commanders Leaving Raqqa, Mosul

The ISIL power is declining in Raqqa and Mosul, a Russian daily reported, adding that the terrorist group is now very much likely to pick up Deir Ezzur as its new self-proclaimed capital.

Izvestia newspaper reported that the ISIL has transferred its senior commanders to Deir Ezzur after its major losses in Iraq and Syria.

General Turki Hassan, a prominent military expert, told the Russian daily that the ISIL move to Deir Ezzur is not just confined to the military commanders and includes their family members too.

Also, Brigadier General Yahya Soleiman, a retired army commander, said that the ISIL has decided to attack the Syrian army forces in Deir Ezzur and it has launched massive offensives against the army positions near the highly important Deir Ezzur airbase in the past few days which were all repelled.

Meantime, Boris Dolgov, a Russian analyst, underlined that the ISIL is showing futile resistance because after continued defeats in Iraq and Syria, the terrorist group will be turned into an armed group not in control of any specific area which should always be on the move to find another region to base its command center there, and Deir Ezzur is their base choice to this end.

In the latest development in the Southern and Southwestern outskirts of Deir Ezzur city, the ISIL suffered a number of casualties and its military equipment sustained major damage in the Syrian army soldiers’ attacks, sources in Eastern Syria said.

The sources said that the army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL South of Brigade 137th garrison Southwest of Deir Ezzur city, destroying three barricades and killing or wounding a number of terrorists.

In the meantime, the army’s artillery units shelled heavily ISIL’s movements and positions in areas surrounding Deir Ezzur’s airbase, al-Thardah mountain, al-Makbat region and Tal (hill) Aloush, inflicting heavy losses on the terrorists.

Also, the Syrian air force and army launched heavy strikes on ISIL positions and moves near Deir Ezzur city on Thursday, destroying several oil tankers and bases of the terrorists and killing tens of them.

SAA repelled an ISIS attack near Deir ez-Zor airport.

Syria. The soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army show the destroyed technology of ISIS terrorists and the weapons seized from them. Deir ez-Zor Airport.

Rakka, Deir-Khafir, Deir-ez-Zor. 03/18/2012

After the stabilization of the front between the Kurds and the Syrians, the SAA methodically continues to push the detachments of the IG to the south. By March 18, the SAA had come very close to Deir Khafir, which is the main hub of the insurgency in the province of Aleppo after the loss of Al-Bab. The city itself is well fortified, so the advance to it was not easy, but due to superiority in forces, the SAA is gradually gaining success in other areas, creating the preconditions for its liberation. The advance south of the city gradually creates a threat to the operative encirclement of all the forces of the Caliphate in the Deir-Khafir area, which in the coming weeks will put before them a difficult choice – either to hold on to Deir-Hafir to the end, or to move further south, leaving the city in an example Dhabika and Al-Baba. I would put on the fact that the “blacks” will not cling to the end for Deir-Khafir and when a real threat of encirclement arises, they will begin withdrawing troops.

It can accelerate the developing offensive of the SAA along the coast of the Euphrates, where the advanced units have already reached the Jirah air base, the capture of which could pose a threat to wider coverage of the entire Khilafat group in the Deir-Khafir area.

After the losses incurred in the previous battles, it is extremely difficult for militants to keep a sufficiently wide front, while the SAA having stabilized the front with the SSA and the Kurds has the ability to create significant numerical and quantitative superiority in the directions of the main attacks. For the time being, the “blacks” are rather engaged in stiffening actions, which are unlikely to allow them to stay in the province of Aleppo for a long time. I would suggest that by May, east of Aleppo, militants will be stripped off and operations directly against the province of Rakka will take place, which will evolve in parallel with the operations of the SDF / YPG and the US against the capital of the Caliphate.

……………For Russia and Syria, the promotion of the Kurds to the Euphrates is interesting in terms of the Deblocada Deir ez Zor, where the enclave is divided into two parts, heroically fighting off the insurgents. Despite the loss of communication between the main territory of the enclave and the air base, the Khilafat was unable to destroy the enclave (with very large losses) and Deir-ez-Zor remained a kind of bone in the throat of the “blacks”, preventing the full-scale transformation of Deir ez Zor into a backup The capital of the Caliphate, which he could become after the loss of Mosul and Rakki. Syrians in the short term are unlikely to be able to unblock the enclave, since the offensive to the east and northeast of Palmyra is developing rather slowly. Theoretically, the enclave could be unblocked by the Kurds of Rozhava by deploying an offensive south of Al Shaddady or along the Euphrates coast to the southeast, but the Kurds are frankly in no hurry, since the main forces are now being thrown on operations in the Raqqi area, and occupying desert areas and small Settlements north of Deir-ez-Zor are mainly carried out by small detachments of motorized infantry, which pushes south a small veil of units of the Caliphate. Heavy equipment is not here, mounting the shock group (if there is a political solution) will also take time. Therefore, the critical situation around Deir-ez-Zor will continue for a long time. For the Caliphate, the abolition of the enclave and the massacre there, could somewhat brighten up the series of strategic failures, so it can not be ruled out that the “blacks” will bring their few reserves here to try to break through the SAA defense near the 137th base and the cut off airbase. For the SAA in this regard, the issue of uninterrupted supply of ammunition will be critical (RFC RF delivered more than 20 tons of cargo to the besieged enclave recently) and the effectiveness of aviation support (including the use of long-range aviation).

In general, the strategic situation for the Caliphate continues to deteriorate – the actions of the SAA, Russia, the Kurds and the US, create the prerequisites for a decisive defeat to the Caliphate in Syria in 2017, after which it can cease to exist in the state format, having lost all key settlements And moving to a more traditional strategy of a terrorist war. Parallel to this struggle against the Caliphate, the parties are solving their tasks, which should provide them with more favorable negotiating positions when it comes to an inter-Syrian settlement within the framework of the talks in Astana and Geneva. The role of external players in recent months has greatly increased, which more than clearly demonstrated the crisis around Manbige. Asad over the past month has significantly expanded the controlled territory, effectively using the benefits of partial truce with the “green”. Kurds also significantly increased the territory on the southern borders of Rozhava. At the same time, both the SAA and the Kurds have quite distinct prospects for success, while it is much more difficult for ASA and Akhrar al-Sham to propose an active strategy that would allow them to strengthen their negotiating position (options with an attack On Afrin or an attempt to strike at the SAA to the west of Aleppo, are problematic enough).

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Deir Ezzur, ISIL’s New Capital: Senior Terrorist Commanders Leaving Raqqa, Mosul

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