New successes of Syrian government troops in the south of the country
In particular, only in the province of Essaouida in the village of Umm Walid, Russians distributed more than 1000 food sets and delivered 15.000 liters of bottled drinking water. Also, a great help to the local population is provided by mobile medical stations, in which Russian doctors work.
In the central and western regions of the country, with the support of Russia, the gradual restoration of the national economy continues. Largely thanks to Russian assistance with building materials and equipment, restoration work is being carried out on the water supply and health care facilities that were damaged during the fighting, debris is being dismantled, demining and restoration of damaged roads are being carried out.
It is worth noting that in this issue of Syria, not one of the countries of the Arab world provides serious, let alone gratuitous support. Only from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan there are active deliveries of humanitarian aid (drinking water, food, basic necessities and medicines) to the war-torn border areas of the Syrian Arab Republic.
The humanitarian situation continues to remain in major cities affected by the war, in particular, such as Raqqah (where more than 80% of buildings were destroyed due to the battles and strikes of the US Air Force) and Aleppo (where housing losses are also very large).
The main fighting took place last week in Dera'a province. When, after the fierce battles of 5-7 in July 2018, they were freed from the factions of the Sikha and Essaouida jihadists, this contributed to changing the situation not only under Deraa, but also in the whole of southern Syria. Thanks to the Russian officers from the Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties, several dozen localities ceased to resist the forces of official Damascus and withdrew from the anti-government coalitions.
Difficult but active negotiations went 7-10 in July 2018 with representatives of various anti-government groups in the province of Deraa (the threat of using Russian videoconferencing for moderate jihadists and separatists in this area turned out to be quite a weighty argument, while probably the only one capable of seating them at the table negotiations).
As a result, a significant part of them agreed to stop the armed struggle. Thus, the group consisting exclusively of local militants, Shabab as-Sunna (Youth of the Sunnah) *, virtually capitulated completely, transferring the heavy and medium weapons of the Russian military police and agreeing to soft demilitarization.
During the negotiations with the Russian officers, the leader of this organization, “Colonel-Amir” Ahmad al-Daud, not only surrendered the ancient and historically well-known city of Bosrou ash-Sham, controlled by his forces, but even agreed to the inclusion of his units (retaining their structure and light rifle armaments). ) in the list of local militia.
Of course, this will be done only after going through the “de-radicalization” procedure (which can be compared with the “denazification” procedure, which was applied to the entire male population of Germany after 1945), during which war crimes perpetrators must be identified and brought to justice. while these territories are under the rule of jihadists.
As far as this is the right step, it’s not for us to evaluate, the future will show. The militants in the Shabab al-Sunna are not (with rare exceptions) convinced Caliphists. They are rather local separatists - radical Sunnis opposing the official Damascus government of the Alawite Shiites, who simply wanted to save their lives (not wanting to evacuate to de-escalation zones like Idlib, where the most radical forces are concentrated), deciding to stay at home.
Militants in the Bosra region handed over to representatives of the Russian “Reconciliation Center”: from heavy weapons - several armored units of obsolete models, several mobile anti-aircraft installations of various types, from medium weapons - many mortars and mobile missile systems (ATGM and MANPADS).
Apparently, the successes of the Russian videoconferencing do not give peace to USSAF, based in Iraq, which on the night from 12 to 13 in July, hit the positions of the Islamic State (IG) ** in Deir ez-Zor province. Al-Baghuz Fukani and Al-Susekh on the eastern bank of the Euphrates were subjected to air attacks. Reuters reports 54 dead, among which there are both Islamic State militants and women, old people and children.
According to some reports, this air strike was a retribution by the United States for a recent militant attack on a coalition patrol in the same province of Deir ez-Zor, which, according to some sources, killed four US troops.
However, according to the official authorities of Damascus, such reasons for this air operation of the US Air Force against the positions of "IG" are just a cover. As the Syrian states news SANA agency, the militants of radical caliphate groups allegedly left for a long time, and only local militia and civilians remained in Al-Bagahuz and Al-Susekh. According to official Damascus, in fact, the goals of the strike of the Western coalition planes were to retaliate against the inhabitants of these settlements for having actively armed resistance to the Kurdish armed police, Kasad, trying to enter these settlements.
The successes of the government forces in the south-west of Syria, which forced numerous armed militant groups to concentrate in areas directly adjacent to the Golan Heights (which are under the actual jurisdiction of Israel), led to an increase in the actions of the Israeli air force.
Israel’s airplanes, which may have operated from Ramat-David airbase or even from Ab Sdot Mikha, repeatedly launched missile strikes against positions of forces supporting official Damascus and stationed in Quneitra province. As it is already traditional in recent times for the Jewish state's Hel Ha-Avir, strikes on ground targets were carried out mainly at night, mostly without entering the airspace of Syria.
At the same time, despite the success of the strikes of ground targets, the losses not only among civilians, but even among the Syrian army soldiers are minimal (own losses of the Israeli Air Force, according to objective maximum estimates, are one wounded aircraft that successfully left for damage to its territory) . According to some observers, this indicates a higher level of skill Israeli pilots compared with the level of the US Air Force operating in the north-eastern regions of Syria.
The main reason for these air strikes is the successful advance directly to the borders of Israel by the forces of the pro-Iranian group Hizb Allah (Party of Allah ***, for some reason often referred to as Hezbollah in Russian-language media), and Iranian units themselves. The command of these forces, which concentrate in the southern regions of Syria, not only stubbornly ignored the repeated warnings of the Israeli command, but even began to launch UAV launches into Israel. In particular, such launches were recorded on 12 and 13 on July 2018 of the year, but in the latter case, the UAV was shot down by Israelis even in Syrian airspace.
In general, local battles in the southern regions of the Syrian Republic, in which militants are being pursued with the active assistance of the Syrian government army, formations of pro-Iranian radical groups and Iranian divisions can lead to a higher confrontation between Israel and Iran. Russian diplomacy is currently making efforts to prevent this, but Iran is still not inclined to compromise and take into account the interests of other states, and Bashar Asad, apparently, wants to receive military and economic assistance from all sources at the same time.
On the morning of July 12, after very fierce battles, government forces were able to take most of the town of Tafas (Deraa governorate). It should be noted that, despite repeated attempts at negotiations by the Russian "Center for Reconciliation", all of them failed because of the obstinacy of the radical militants. Because of this, the city eventually had to take a fight, during which this "pearl of the Deraa governorate" suffered greatly.
But the capture of this city, located just 13 km from Deraa, the capital of the province of the same name, allowed the government forces to develop their successes, and a day later, 13 July 2018, the Syrian army entered Al-Balad, a rural suburb of Dera'a. However, further, according to available information, the pro-government units could not move forward so far.
13 July official Damascus troops liberated the town of Al-Hariya al-Kharbiyya, located in the same area. Due to the adequacy and focus on the dialogue of all parties, negotiations on the surrender of the settlement were successful, and the settlement avoided destruction, and its inhabitants joyfully met with government forces.
As some intermediate, we note that last Saturday it was reported that the mobile group of militants of the Islamic State, having made a long march through the desert areas, dealt an unexpected and deep blow to the pro-government forces operating on the southern front in Es province -Suweida.
The raid of the Caliphists was unexpected. Although, according to official Damascus, he did not reach the goals set by the terrorists and its participants suffered serious losses, but according to other sources, the chain of checkpoints of government forces in the area of Al-Zaaf settlement was broken, and the Syrian army was able to stop the militants only at the cost of heavy losses.
In addition, as a result, despite the fact that an attempt by the militants to counter the attack was stopped, and the mobile group of jihadists was forced to retreat to the desert areas, it was not blocked and destroyed. This creates increased tension on one of the flanks of the grouping of government forces storming Deraa. As events will develop further, we will see this week.
* Grouping is prohibited in the Russian Federation and in most civilized countries of the world.
** The group is recognized as terrorist and banned in the countries of the Anglo-Saxon world (USA, UK, Canada, etc.), in a number of EU countries, in Egypt, Israel, in most of the Arab League countries and in most countries of the Persian region (Arab a) bay
*** The Sunnah is a collection of pious Islamic narratives (about the life of Muhammad, etc.), which is the basis for the teaching of Sunni Muslims and is rejected by Shiite Muslims.
- Mikhail Syrian
- to Reuters
Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.