With the advent of 20 February numbers, the intensity of the exchange of ruthless diplomatic and military-political strikes between Moscow and the West reached a critical point. As expected, the aggravation affected all without exception the burning issues on which the parties formed geopolitical "fault" lines, due to Washington's frantic desire to get total geostrategic and economic control over the Eurasian continent. Without a doubt, the situation in the Syrian and Donbass theaters of military operations continues to form the so-called “tectonic basis” of these complex and difficult to predict geopolitical shifts. But if in the Donbass we can observe only the final stage of preparation for a local offensive rush on some operational areas, accompanied by absolute pseudo-surrogates, then the picture in the Syrian Arab Republic is much closer to a denouement.
Thus, in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, the Turkish army, as well as the opposition-terrorist Free Syrian Army (FSA) supervised from Ankara and the Tahrir ash-Sham terrorist cell (banned in the Russian Federation) do not leave attempts to establish control over the Kurdish canton of Afrin through captures the central city of Afrin into a tactical "cauldron." Advantageously, using FSA forces in the Idlib Gadyushnik as an offensive "backbone", Ankara hopes to block the "Nubl Isthmus" through the cities of Zahra and Tell-Rifat, but such a strategy will definitely lead to a direct clash with the Syrian Arab Army, which is fraught with extremely serious consequences.
In this case, Damascus and Moscow made a very worthy preemptive move, giving the commanders of the Syrian Armed Forces a trick to introduce into the Afrin an impressive contingent of Syrian pro-government militias NDF (“National Defense Forces”) armed with hundreds of small-arms, anti-tank weapons, and anti-tank systems of Soviet and Russian production. The result is already noticeable today: despite some SSA advancement in the Raju and Jandaris area, only 12-15-kilometer sections of the cantonal territory in the south-western and western operational directions are occupied, while the mountainous section of the canton (from Ain al-Hajar to Sulakli ) remains under the reliable control of the Syrian militias and the Kurdish Popular Self-Defense YPG / YPJ. Nevertheless, judging by the information spreading among the Middle Eastern media, the Turkish Armed Forces are transferring new convoys with armored vehicles and artillery to Afrin’s borders to ensure even greater numbers and military-technical superiority over Afrin Kurds, which in the coming 2-3 will require Damascus to introduce a week units of the regular Syrian army in order to avoid the loss of all the northern territories.
Far more disturbing news continue to come from the environs of Husham and Salkhii, located on the eastern bank of the Euphrates (in 5 km from the bed of the great river), as well as from the Eastern Guta. In the first case, there are regular clashes between Syrian militia and pro-American Kurdish units of the SDF (“Syrian Democratic Forces”), representing the key army backbone of the Syrian Kurdistan (Rozava). We note in advance that having a huge ideological and mental community with Afrin kurds, the military-political vector of the Kurds in Manbidje and Hasek is based solely on support from Washington, both political and military-technical. Local clashes with detachments of the “Syrian Democratic Forces” near Deir ez-Zor became more frequent immediately after the sensational incident with the “Ganshipov” airstrike (air artillery batteries of direct support for the AC-130 troops), tactical fighter F-15E and attack helicopters AH-64D “AH-XNUMXD attack helicopters“ Ap Longbow ”and MLRS HIMARS for Syrian militia. Syrian and other Middle Eastern sources claim that pro-government militia units of the CAA carried out reconnaissance and search actions near the Kurdish oil refinery of El-Ezba without the consent of the territorial headquarters of the CAA and despite radio communications warnings from SDF commanders made over radio communications.
Be that as it may, there was serious aggression by the US Air Force. Moreover, on the evening of March 2, tactical aviation The coalition’s OVS again hit the strongholds of these same SAA units in the cities of Khusham, Marrat and Khatlakh, as indicated by the news block of the tactical online map syria.liveuamap.com. The situation is openly tense and begins to take on the contours of the coming large-scale escalation with the participation of the SDF and the New Syrian Army, on the one hand, and the Syrian Arab Army / Hezbollah, on the other. The first side will traditionally be supported by the Air Force and the US Marine Corps, the second should enter the confrontation with the support of the Russian Air Force. And, believe me, the American army and Kurds from SDF, together with the Pentagon-based New Syrian Army (Army of the North of Syria), have a great reason for a small but high-intensity and victorious war on the west bank of the Euphrates. After all, the oil fields controlled by the Americans and SDF, Al-Ezba, Tabiya, Al-Omar and Al-Jafra, are not the only and unique in Syria.
Also, Americans may consider taking the strategically important city of Abu Kemal under control to the US 55-kilometer "security zone" around Atm military base as the main goal of direct confrontation with the Syrian Arab Army in the southern part of the governorate of Deir-ez-Zor. -Tanf. Thus, using the Kurdish SDF units and mixed units of the NSA as an assault "fist", Washington plans to kill two birds with one stone: cut off the transport "artery" connecting Damascus with Iran and Iraq, and also occupy the oil-bearing territories of Homs province. A logical question may arise: how did the New Syrian Army and SDF created by the States from the ISIL terrorists plan to “break through” the 160-kilometer section (controlled by the Syrian army) from the Euphrates to the western borders of the 55-kilometer “security zone” near At-Tanfa ? You can answer this question after getting acquainted with the tactical situation on the border between the provinces of Homs and Deir-ez-Zor.
Here we see the surviving ISIL enclave (officially - uncontrolled territory), stretching for 148 km from the village of Kubbat e-Zubayah to the reservoir Faydat al-Jab. Despite the desert terrain, this pseudo-caliphate enclave was never cleared of militants during the entire period of the joint operation of the CAA and the Russian Aerospace Forces, as the attack on the Ighilov fortifications along the Euphrates (from Deir ez-Zor to Abu Kemal) was much more priority . Later, most of the XA NUMX units of the CAA assault corps, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Tiger Forces, Brigadier General Suhel Al-Hassan, were quickly transferred to the FSA and I-Nusroy of Idlib province, where it was necessary to strengthen defense front line between the cities of Aleppo and Abu Dukhur. As a result, the IG enclave in Homs and Deir-ez-Zor can be an excellent base for the planned SDF and NSA offensive in a westerly direction.
A remarkable detail in this complex intricacies is that the militants of the so-called "IG western boiler" are practically in a hopeless situation: sooner or later, after resolving the situation with the Idlib gadyushnik, this enclave will also be trimmed. Consequently, the terrorists under siege will be ready to surrender territory on the west bank of the Euphrates to Kurdish SDF troops and other pro-American groups in exchange for saving their lives and joining the Army of Northern Syria. It is for this reason that today we are witnessing the increasing incidence of clashes between the CAA and the Kurds near the Euphrates, as well as attempts by the US Air Force to provoke a major regional conflict due to periodic rocket attacks on pro-government forces near Deir-ez-Zor. The penultimate incident occurred on February 27, when, after an attempt to carry out a short-term offensive operation in the direction of the GPP Conoco, the Syrian army units and militias came under a massive strike by the US Air Force, which for obvious reasons caused reciprocal missile launches from the air defense forces of the Syrian army. The situation in Deir-ez-Zor becomes extremely “explosive”, and the Air Force command is now making a lot of effort to develop casus belli in a planned escalation.
One of the most significant links in the chain of the coming “Syrian denouement” is the transfer to the area of the At-Tanf (55-kilometer security zone) 600 reinforced area of the US Special Operations Forces troops, reinforced by a mechanized unit, and also an amphibious-landing naval group moving in the direction of the Persian region. US Navy, past the Strait of Gibraltar 1 March 2018 of the year.
The official version of the arrival of the US MTR group at At-Tanf, announced for the international media, implies the usual control of border crossings on the Syrian-Jordanian and Syrian-Iraqi sections of the border. But the number of 600 troops, plus armored vehicles and the HIMARS high-precision multiple launch rocket systems already in use in At-Tanf, capable of providing highly efficient direct support to assault units, are not hearsay, wriggle on a lot of reflections on the true plans to use reinforced American troops in At-Tanf.
It would be extremely naive to assume that such impressive forces would be used only to cover a couple of KVVVs; there is a planned military operation against Syrian government forces. Referring again to the syria.liveuamap.com map, where we can see that the northern neighborhood of the 55-kilometer security zone is an excellent springboard for American special forces as for a “throw” in the direction of the “IG western enclave” that was used for the quick capture of the southern territories of the provinces Homs and Deir-ez-Zor), and for a possible breakthrough of the 70-kilometer “corridor” to the largest opposition enclave in the northern part of the province of Damascus, from where it will be extremely convenient to launch an offensive in the direction of Eastern Guta. And what is most remarkable, the plan of one of such operations of the SSO, the CMP and the US Air Force may already be on the table of Donald Trump, the head of the US defense department James Mattis, and also the head of the US Central Command Joseph Hotel.
An important factor here is the fact that the direct military support of FSA (“Free Syrian Army”) militants in Eastern Ghouta is Trump’s last and most feasible chance to keep his ratings at least at the 35 - 40% level, especially after being distributed among the leading world media reports on the acquisition of operational combat readiness unique hypersonic missile systems "Dagger" and "Avangard". Naturally, a possible “Tomahawk” strike on the units of the Syrian Arab Army near Eastern Guta, and then the offensive operation of the SSO and the USMC are planned with the hope of non-intervention by the Russian Aerospace Force, as it happened in the attack on Shyrat airbase, as well as taking into account the concentration of Syrian army in the northern part of the province of Aleppo (on the border with the Idlib Gadyushnik and the canton of Afrin), which in general should repeatedly weaken the military stability of the CAA before the possible attack of the FSA and Kan MTRs from the At-Tanfa side and the Rukban refugee camp.
Also during the resolution on the 30-day cease-fire recently announced at the UN Security Council meeting, the militants of the Free Syrian Army, controlled by the States in Eastern Ghouta, will try to do everything possible and impossible to accuse government forces of using chemical weapons weapons. In particular, despite the highly successful offensive operation of the “Force of the Tiger” in the area of the cities of Nashabiya, Hosh al-Dawahir and Misrab, the militants of “al-Nusra” and the SSA in Hosh al-Ashari, Zamalka, Arbine and Duma are preparing for provocations using chemical weapons, responsibility for what is planned to shift to the Syrian regime. According to the White House, this should allow the Western coalition to blame the CAA for violently violating the UN resolution on the 30-day cease-fire with the simultaneous use of prohibited weapons, after which the missile attacks that the US permanent representative to the UN said recently Haley, head of the British Foreign Office B. Johnson and French President E. Macron.
Even if the Tiger Forces and other divisions of the Syrian government forces manage to clear the Eastern Guta from the militants of the armed opposition and al-Nusra before the publication of the next test tube by Colin Powell, the Pentagon will retain the possibility to reprogram its classic accusatory scenario in relation to the situation in any other enclave of the Syrian armed opposition (from the Dar'a district to the FSA boiler in the northern part of the province of Damascus and the similar Rastan pot in Homs); and this is not to mention the plans to push the CAA against the NSA's “Syrian Democratic Forces” in Deir ez-Zor.
One cannot call accidental or ordinary rotation the arrival of the powerful amphibious assault landing group of the US Navy in the Mediterranean Sea, the order of which is represented by the Uosp class universal landing ship (UDK) LHD-7 USS Iwo Jima, helicopter landing docking ship LPD-21 USS "New York" class "San-Antonio", as well as the landing ship LSD-51 "Oak Hill" class "Harpers Ferry". Despite the fact that the publication "Interfax" indicates the transfer of the group to the area of responsibility of the 5th operational fleet The US Navy, located in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, in reality, an amphibious assault ship warrant is located within the Mediterranean Sea; moreover, the group will unite with NATO naval ships and the 6th operational fleet of the US Navy as part of the “maintaining maritime security” voiced by the US Navy command in the Mediterranean region. Obviously, the group is formed in the event of a rapid response to crisis situations for Washington in the Syrian theater of operations. If anyone is surprised by this opinion, it is necessary to familiarize themselves in detail with the capabilities of the quickly created naval compound.
Airborne assault boat LCAC at the dock chamber of the universal landing ship LHD-7 USS "Iwo Jima". You can also see the multi-purpose deck attack aircraft modification AV-8B + "Hurrier II Plus", capable of conducting air combat at medium ranges thanks to the installed radar AN / APG-65 and the possibility of using AUR-AIM-120C
The LHD-7 USS "Iwo Jima" universal landing craft alone is capable of delivering to the remote theaters of war (within 16 thousand km) a full-fledged and well-equipped marine infantry battalion of 1900 order - 2200 military personnel, 3 airborne assault landing craft LCAC or 12 regular DKA LCM, or 61 floating BTR AAV7A1. An airborne wing can be represented as a MV-22B / C tiltrotor in an amount greater than 10 units. (with unique flexibility in terms of lightning-quick delivery of 240 and more infantrymen to a range of 725 km per single departure), and 30 transport assault helicopters of various types. As a strike air attack wing for direct support of MP units on the coast, the Hurrier (usually up to 6 machines) and attack helicopters AH-20Z can be used from 8 to 8 vertical attack and take-off aircraft landing on the coast. More 1 boats of the LCAC and 4 marines can accommodate on the LPD-1200 and LSD-21. Total 21 perfectly equipped expeditionary battalion of the MP numbering 2 people + impressive tactical aviation component of air support. The sudden deployment of such a grouping, by definition, cannot be designed to maintain the safety of sea routes in a peaceful way; similar missions are more often assigned to the crews of single patrol boats, frigates or destroyers. We are witnessing a pronounced preparation of the United Armed Forces coalition led by the United States to the escalation of large-scale multilateral conflict.
Even more unpredictably, the tactical situation in the northern part of the province of Aleppo continues to develop. This time, the alarming news comes from the Pentagon-controlled Kurdish region of Manbij, the only bridgehead of pro-American "Syrian democratic forces" on the west coast of the Euphrates. We all remember very well how Recep Erdogan frankly bluffed, inventing for the Turkish and foreign media Napoleon’s plans to oust the Kurds from Manbij, and then the northern territories of the SAR on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. In fact, the possibilities and courage was enough only for the attack of the Afrin squads of YPG / YPJ, which were armed with nothing but hand-held anti-tank weapons and anti-tank systems. For all the time since the beginning of the barbaric operation "Olive Branch", only 5-7 artillery and rocket bombing attacks have been inflicted on Manbiju. As a result, after the appearance of observation posts of the US Armed Forces near the Turkish border and the official refusal of the Pentagon to withdraw its troops from Manbij, artillery strikes and attempts to break through the western and northern defensive lines of Manbidj from the Turkish army and the rebels were stopped.
Nevertheless, the US Central Command decided not to stop there, and already on March 4, with reference to the Aleppo Media Center agency, information appeared on foreign and Russian news sources about the arrival of Kurt Viran units in the US special operations unit in Kurt Viran. The news is rather unexpected, given that the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Turkey is already more restrained and wary of planning an attack on the SDF units in Manbidzh. What could be the goal of transferring an elite unit of the American army to this region? To do this, once again look at the tactical map of the northern part of the governorate of Aleppo.
An interesting point is that the MTR units moved not to the Syrian-Turkish part of the border west of Kobani, but to the village of Kurt Viran, located on the contact line between Azaz territory (controlled by pro-Turkish units of the CCA) and the Kurdish region of Manbija. First, from this area, the US military and the SDF can easily control the Kirsanli-Kabasin highway, which is vital for the El Babski bridgehead, along which the Free Syrian Army receives military and technical support from Turkey. Secondly, Kazalat and Boxazaz, located near the contact line, make it possible to organize fire control of the “El Babski bridgehead” with its low-lying terrain if it is decided to break through the “corridor” to the canton of Afrin.
Such a plan cannot be ruled out, since Damascus has never officially introduced parts of the Syrian Arab Army into Afrin, and the Americans with the SDF can still use the “African trump card” by entering the Kurdish canton before the Syrian army does at the official level. Thirdly, the MTR and the United States Commission can safely support the SDF in confrontation with the pro-Turkish units on the El Babski bridgehead, without looking at Ankara’s discontent, since the fighting will take place in the province of Aleppo, which is not subject to Turkish sovereignty. As a result, Erdogan and his entourage will only have to “gnash their teeth”, and there can be no talk of any internal military conflict between Washington and Ankara. There are no fools in the "pentagonal building" of the US defense department, and the States are unlikely to sign an open conflict with the Turkish Armed Forces ... So much for the tricky decision to deploy Kurt Viran to the American special forces.
Against the background of the above-described preparation of the Western coalition led by the United States to an attempt to forcefully establish control over several pro-government Syrian regions, Moscow made an excellent “knight's move” by publishing to the world media previously unknown samples of ground-based and air-based multi-purpose hypersonic missiles. Vladimir Putin’s statement about the transfer of several hypersonic Dagger missiles to pilot duty in one of the VKS units in the Southern Military District was clearly not just done, but with a hint of the inadmissibility of attempts by the Joint Forces of the coalition to cause any damage to the Russian military infrastructure in SAR, because the basing of the Dagger in the Crimea or Krasnodar Territory allows for a lightning-quick counter-attack against coalition forces in the Eastern Mediterranean or in southern Syria. (the distance from the South Military District to the CAP is less than 1000 km).
But in this case, Moscow should not relax. Naturally, there is no need to fear any direct missile attack on Avb Hamism or Tartus from the coalition side. Washington, Tel Aviv, Paris and London can replay the situation in their favor, based on the lack of direct protection of the Syrian army by the forces of our Aerospace Forces. Having accused Damascus of all mortal sins (use of chemical weapons, phosphorus bombs and cluster submunitions), they will try to launch an escalation network of hybrid collisions in the SAR, providing direct fire support to all opposition and terrorist forces (FSA, SDF, “Syrian Army of the North”, “en “Nusra”, etc.). All the facts now indicate just that.