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Thursday, January 14

Syrian War Update

You'll note that the moderate Free Syrian Army unicorns seem to have an affinity for fighting with help from al Qaeda's Syrian franchise, Nusra Front, which is bankrolled by the Gulfies and maybe also Turkey -- and probably still getting weapons/ammo from the Western contingent including my own dear government bunch of thugs. 

Reports/photos from Al-Masdar; emphasis mine throughout.

See how happy those Syrian Army troops look? The battle they just won is more important than it seems from the headline: 

Syrian Army seizes 40 buildings in Sheikh Miskeen amid the rebel retreat
by Leith Fadel
January 14, 2016 - 2:13 am [Damascus time]

The battle for the city of Sheikh Miskeen in the Dara’a Governorate’s northern countryside is turning out to be one of the most important battles taking place around the country between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA)/Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group).

On Wednesday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 15th Brigade of the 5th Armored Division – in close coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Izra’a and the SAA’s 7th Mechanized Division – continued their assault on the southern district of Sheikh Miskeen, where they specifically targeted several hideouts belonging to Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army inside the city.

Following a fierce series of firefights with the Islamist rebels, the Syrian Arab Army’s 15th Brigade and their allies (specifically, the 7th Mechanized Division) seized over 40 buildings in the southern district, including a command-and-control center that belonged to the Free Syrian Army’s commanding officers operating inside of Sheikh Miskeen.

According to a battlefield journalist embedded with the Syrian Armed Forces in Sheikh Miskeen, the Syrian Arab Army’s 15th Brigade and their allies are currently in control of 25 percent of the southern district, leaving only two dozen building blocks to go before they can announce the city under their control.

While the Syrian Armed Forces have made significant progress inside of Sheikh Miskeen, they still have an arduous journey through the southern district, as this area of the city will likely intensify with violence in the coming days.


Now For Some Bad News - the army's no longer just 2 km from Palmyra

Breaking: ISIS captures Al-Bayarat in west Palmyra
By Leith Fadel
January 14, 2016 - 6:23 am [Damascus time]

Moments ago in the Homs Governorate’s eastern countryside, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) imposed full control over the village of Al-Bayarat after a surprise assault on the Syrian Arab Army’s defenses near the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur).

Accoridng to a battlefield report from eastern Homs, ISIS launched another assault on Al-Bayarat, but this time under the cover of the dense fog that created visibility issues for the Syrian Arab Army’s 67th Brigade of the 18th Tank Division and the National Defense Forces (NDF).

The assault reportedly began at 5:30 A.M. (Damascus Time), when ISIS drove their armored vehicles through the [fog] and stormed the Syrian Armed Forces’ first line of defense at Al-Bayarat.

Facing the possibility of being overrun by ISIS, the Syrian Arab Army’s 67th Brigade and the National Defense Forces had no choice but to retreat west towards the road leading to the oil rich town of Jazal in northeast Homs.

In the last 72 hours, ISIS has recaptured both Al-Dawa and Al-Bayarat; these aforementioned villages were just captured by the Syrian Armed Forces two weeks [ago].

As a result of this setback in the Palmyra countryside, the Syrian Armed Forces are no longer within 2km of the ancient city.


Syrian Army resumes the Jordanian border offensive

By Leith Fadel
January 14, 2015 - 7:42 am

Earlier this morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 5th Armored Division – in close coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) – resumed their imperative offensive inside the provincial capital of the Dara’a Governorate in order recapture the initiative and seize the Jamrak border-crossing into the Kingdom of Jordan.

The Syrian Arab Army’s 5th Armored Division and their allies began their assault around 7:30 A.M. (Damascus Time) when they stormed the Islamist rebel defenses near the Jamrak border-crossing’s fences in the Al-Maniahiyah Quarter of the Dara’a Al-Balad District.

Currently, the Syrian Armed Forces are attempting to seize the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) remaining positions along the Jordanian border; however, this has been no easy task, as the Islamist rebels (specifically, Jabhat Al-Nusra) have reinforced the border-crossing in order to prevent conceding this site to the Syrian government.


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