Friday, June 22

Southern Offensive cliffhanger as SAA proceeds in spite of U.S. threat

Headlines this hour are from Al Masdar News; all dates except as noted are 6/22, all times shown are Syria time. Taken together the headlines outline the nature of the cliffhanger. 

This might be my last post for the day. Check in with Al Masdar News, SouthFront, and FARS for breaking news on the situation. The English-language version of of Syria's state news agency, SANA, tends to be a slowpoke about battlefield reports. Right now the big headline there is about stolen antiquities.    

US [again] warns Syrian gov’t, Russians about escalating southwest Syria operations (6/21)

Breaking: Syrian Army cuts northern supply lines to jihadist rebels in northeast Daraa; 12:15 AM

Developing: Jordanian Army sends large convoy to Syrian border (photos); 3:00 AM

Syrian Army launches major assault on rebel stronghold in northeast Daraa; 9:00 AM

Related headlines at AMN:

(Pundita note: the rumor continues that the airstrike was done by the U.S., as the SAA initially claimed. As to whether there's any credence to the rumor  -- when last I heard most of the 55 fighters killed in the strike were Iraqis in an Iraqi militia under the command of the SAA. Speculation is that the US (via an "unnamed American official") pinned blame for the strike on Israel to avoid the Iraqi government's anger. The IDF has remained mum about the accusation. 

The truth of the matter will probably remain hidden in the fog of war but from the last part in this 6/21 RT report (US-led airstrike ‘kills 8 people’ in Syria’s Deir Ezzor – state mediait seems the SAA is sticking to its claim that the strike was done by the U.S.)

See also 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent Russian military analyst revealed that the US is training terrorists in 19 military bases in Syria in pursuit of its military and political objectives in the country.
Vladimir Kozin, a military expert at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, was quoted by the Arabic website of RT as saying that the US has 19 bases in Syria to train the terrorists.

He added that the weapons, ammunition, fuel and foodstuff needed in these centers are provided by 22 US military bases outside Syria.

Kozin said that the American forces train the terrorists at al-Tanf base in Syria's Badiyeh region in the South, adding that the US army has closed the airspace of this region in a radius of 50km without any agreement with the Damascus government.

He described Washington's military and technical support for terrorist groups as a violation of the UN Charter and agreements to decrease tensions in Syria, and said the US supports the terrorists to maintain its influence on the political and military situation of the country.

Media sources reported last Saturday that the US occupying forces are attempting to open different ways to transfer terrorists between al-Tanf, Deir Ezzur and Homs by contacting the tribes in Eastern Syria for cooperation.
[Rest of report repeats parts of earlier ones I quoted in other posts]


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