Tuesday, 24 January 2017
TIGER FORCES AND ALLIES MAKE A BREAKTHROUGH IN EASTERN ALEPPO PROVINCE; ISIS LOSSES PILING UP IN DEIR EL-ZOR; SAA HAS FIRE CONTROL OF ‘AYN AL FEEJA SPRING
“Exclusive to Syrper” by Canthama
The Tiger Forces have been slowly advancing in the eastern Aleppo countryside for the past few days during which they liberated over 6 villages: Rasm Al-‘Alam, Mushayrifa, ‘Aabid, Afreen, Barlaheen and the critical village of Shaamir, the bottom point of the triangle Shaamir-Marraan-Sooraan, the 3 most important villages in all the so called “Sooraan salient”.
Map credited to Islamic World News @A7_Mirza
Last night the Tiger Forces liberated Sooraan (map above), placing enormous pressure on ISIS defenses in nearby villages, resulting this early morning in the further liberation of 6 more villages: Marraan, Sarja Sagheera, Tunbur, Haleesa, Haj Hassan and Sarja Kabeera. Though some combat is still ongoing on their outskirts as part of an ISIS defensive line collapse and retreat.
Analyzing the last Eastern Aleppo advances by the Tiger Forces, it is possible to conclude that there is a preference for driving the fiercest attacks through the available roads. Confirming this assumption, it is possible to conclude that the following villages will be liberated very soon:
All of the above villages will be targeted for liberation the next day or so in order for the main forces to advance toward the probable future front line at Sirbus and Al-Madyoona villages.
With bad weather in Deir El-Zor during the weekend, there was a limitation placed on close air support (CAS), which opened up the opportunity for high altitude bombing by the strategic bombers of the Russian Air Force on Saturday. They were aiming at the rear-guard of the ISIS terrorists, destroying convoys, terrorists’ gatherings and camps. The effectiveness of the bombing was felt by a reduced ISIS activity in storming SAA’s positions.
Map credited to The ‘Nimr’ Tiger @Souria4Syrians
There are many maps from the supposed front line in Deir El- Zor, some with a large gap between the two pockets, though it is very hard to have maps on a fluid battle front. I found the map above a most likely picture of the Deir El-Zor total pocket. The critical Workers’ Housing District is an isolated pocket still held by the SAA with the N4 highway clearly contested and with both the smaller Al- ‘Arabi and Maysaloon districts under partial ISIS control at the N4, which in fact creates a virtual cut-off from the airbase making these areas the focus of fighting at the moment.
The main fights yesterday and today were at the Panorama roundabout and the main cemetery, the former resisting well to all assaults, the latter an extremely fluid area due to its vital status in the overall battle for Deir El-Zor. Most of the air attacks are happening at this very same area.
In the past few days several cargo deliveries were either dropped by parachute from large airplanes or landed through helicopters (mostly reinforcements). This is the on-going life line for the SAA and allies at the moment.
Though the estimated 120,000 civilians in Deir El-Zor are still going through severe deprivation in food and goods as has been the case for over 4 years, and being driven to extremes at the moment, the moral of the citizenry continues to be very high, with several videos and pictures of civilians arming themselves to help the SAA and allies in any way possible to resist the advance of ISIS.
Time is critical for the Deir El-Zor pocket. The current situation, though stable, is still risky. The SAA has not received armored vehicles to replenish its losses for at least the past 2-3 years and the dwindling number of tanks and BMPs makes it harder to counter-attack in the desert.
WEST GHOUTA-WAADI BARADAA
The Republican Guards and SAA have reached the outskirts of the main ‘Ayn Al-Feeja water spring, though fighting remains intense. They have fire control of it which means soon all ‘Ayn Al- Feeja will be liberated and the engineers will be able to work safely to resume the water supply to Damascus.