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Wednesday, November 25

Um, has the Syrian Army managed to take over the supply routes to Raqqa? (UPDATED 2:45am ET)

The following was buried in the Syrian Army's daily sitrep, published yesterday at SANA under the "Aleppo" heading:
Field sources said in statements to SANA that army units completely cut off Aleppo - al-Raqqa international road, two kilometers far from the mills in the surroundings of Kweires Airport.
The Sources asserted that by cutting the international road, army units have established control over all villages surrounding the Air Force Academy and Kweires Airport and completely securing their surroundings in addition to cutting off ISIS supplies with al-Raqqa.
I might misunderstand what I'm reading because if the passages mean what they seem to mean, where was the headline yesterday at Sputnik? At RT? (I wouldn't expect a Western news outlet to report on such momentous good news.) 

Granted, the Russian press was a little distracted yesterday. The downed Russian jet and helicopter, the presumed killings of three Russian troops during the incidents, the meeting between presidents Obama and Hollande, and the NATO announcement related to Turkey's downing of the jet.

I myself was so distracted by the hubbub it wasn't until late last night when I could collect myself to plow through the Syrian Army's Nov 24 report. And there it was, the stupendous passages quietly hanging before my wondering eyes. 

Now what exactly does the army mean by the "international road?" No no I'm not going to look at a map; I probably couldn't make sense out of it anyway. Maps are for people like Bill Roggio. But an international road does suggest to me that it crosses a border. Now which border might that be, I wonder?

Well, if they really did cut off the supply routes for Islamic State's caliphate, I'm sure we'll hear about it in some fashion, some kind of tantrum from IS or its international backers.


Oh, look, Sputnik also caught up with the Nov 24 sitrep! And it does look as if I didn't misread (emphasis mine), although no discussion of where that international road leads to. I guess I'll have to break down and look at a map:

Syrian Army Drives ISIL Out of Villages Around Key Airbase Near Aleppo - 10:20 - 25.11.2015 (updated 10:25)

The Syrian Army has reportedly driven ISIL militants out of all of the villages near Kweiris Airbase in the eastern part of Aleppo province.

Supported by the National Defense Forces, the Syrian Army managed to regain control of all villages near Kweiris Airbase in eastern Aleppo province from Islamic State militants, sources said.

It was reported that terrorists were driven out of settlements located 40 kilometers east of the city of Aleppo.

Additionally, the government forces took control of part of the Aleppo-Raqqa highway, which is located two kilometers from the Kweiris base.

It means that the army cut off the main supply route of the Islamic State group leading from the city of Raqqa, according to the sources.

Media reports said that during the offensive, the army seized a large number of enemy artillery pieces and systems equipped with homemade rockets.

It was also reported that militants suffered heavy losses in manpower and materiel and that they are retreating in the direction of Raqqa.

Kweiris Airbase has been besieged by terrorist groups for more than three years. The airport's garrison of about 1,000 officers and soldiers repelled over 400 attacks by militants, killing about 1,500 terrorists.

On November 10, the army managed to break the blockade of [Kweiris] Airbase, in a move that won the personal praise of Syrian President Bashar Assad.



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