Monday, April 4

Syrian Army Coalition retakes al-Qaryatain

I held back on the victory dance yesterday because reports kept saying there were still pockets of resistance from Islamic State in the city or town (described both ways and spelled any number of ways ) and AMN dragged its feet about reporting on the victory. But AMN mentions the victory as decisive in a report today from Leith Fadel, All eyes on Deir Ezzor as the Syrian Army prepares for a new offensive but almost in passing because he's eager to go on to the next battle.

So I'm going to run with this report from FARS filed yesterday (afternoon, I assume. Tehran time) and one from RT, both of which provide detail about the very fierce battle to rout IS from Qaryatain

I should mention that from the way the town was described in a report I saw earlier it might not be "majority" Christian as it's generally described; it might be that it has a large Christian minority. Either way, many Christians in the town.

Also, Deir Ezzor is going to be a tough nut to crack, as Leith's report and this analysis at SouthFront from mapmaker Peto Lucem indicate. Peto's advice to go slow, and in roundabout fashion, seems sound given how he laid out the challenges. But the army is now having to live up to its string of recent victories and that could make them careless. IS is still a formidable enemy. We'll just have to see what the SAA decides; surely they've noted all the factors that Peto and Leith have.


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