Saturday, 28 January 2017

Map Update: Syrian Army closes in on ISIS stronghold in east Aleppo

BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:10 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) carried out a powerful assault in the eastern countryside of Aleppo on Thursday, striking the Islamic State’s (ISIS) positions in Al-Bab Plateau.
Led by the Tiger Forces, the Syrian Arab Army liberated Al-Madiyoneh after overrunning the Islamic State’s defenses at the village’s western perimeter on Thursday.
In addition to liberating Al-Madiyoneh, the Tiger Forces also seized Al-Mamoun University’s campus from the remaining Islamic State terrorists in the area.
The Tiger Forces assault on Al-Madiyoneh today comes just hours after the Syrian Arab Army’s Republican Guard beat back a major Islamic State attack along the Khanasser Road in southeast Aleppo.
With several villages now under their control, the Syrian Arab Army is now within 5km of Al-Bab’s southern gates, marking the first time in 4 years that they have been this close to this city.
Last months a high number or SAA’s units were redeployed to eastern Aleppo and along the strategic Khanasser highway to fight ISIS militants. These changes proved to be successful as the army’s elite Tiger forces have made significant gains north of Kweires military airport thus putting the government frontline just near the syrian town of Al-Bab. This highly important stronghold of the so called “caliphate” has been facing serious attacks from the turkish troops and their FSA mercenaries for over two months and now is on verge of being fully encircled by TAF/FSA and rolling syrian army.
Ivan Lapkin | Al-Masdar News
                             Map shows Rastan Plain situation in 2014 (by Peto Lucem)
However, at the same time strong SAA reinforcements are also greatly needed in two other syrian provinces. Since 2014 a large ammount of pro-western FSA criminals and Al-Nusra terrorists have been encircled just north of the ancient city of Homs. Despite the fact that they were defeated trying to hold on in the Homs’s provincial capital, they were able to build a strong defence lines in the area between Rastan and Tabliseh towns as well as Houla and Aqrab.
This large terrorists pocket has been completely cutting several vital government supply lines connecting Homs and Hama cities and making army convoys choose another long ways to reach northern Hama frontline or the embattled Aleppo city. Also FSA terrorists have shelled government-held villages around the pocket for many times.
Unfortunatelly, almost all SAA’s offensive units like Tiger forces, Soukhur al-Sahara brigade and military intelligence forces have been engaging in fierce clashes with “opposition” and ISIS in different fronts since that time and the only ones to resist terrorists were weak NDF  and some local pro-Damascus militias.

Eastern Aleppo offensive against ISIS: A brief situational analysis

With offensives across multiple fronts being launched against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) since the beginning of 2017, all with mixed rates of success so far for the latter, it can be said that the advance in the eastern Aleppo countryside continues to bring some of the most progressive results.
As of the Thursday the 26th of January, the strategic town of al-Maduonah has been liberated by the SAA’s elite Tiger Forces. The town commands two principal roads leading to the city of al-Bab: this is the M4 main highway and the N212 secondary motorway.
Control over the M4 and N212 are essential for any northbound push on al-Bab whether it be soon or later on in the future. At this time the true direction and scope of the SAA’s offensive in the eastern Aleppo countryside is not yet known. For example, it had originally been thought that Deir Hafer – much further to the southeast than the current area of operations – was going to be the target of the SAA offensive in eastern Aleppo and thus far this has proven not to be the case at all.
All that can be said is that if the SAA continues operations in the direction of al-Bab, then very few urban obstacles remain along the M4/ N212 axis, as virtually no other road-controlling town stands between the city and the now liberated al-Maduonah.

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