We can say with confidence that in South East Syria will continue the revitalization of the hybrid war that gets very sparse coverage in the press. The main players acting in their hands “proxy” or special units, solve problems of redistribution of spheres of influence that are important for the further conduct of the war, and for potential negotiations on a final settlement.
The militants of the Caliphate have produced promotional materials dedicated to its “high technology” they use in continuing from October 2016, the battle for Mosul.
They mainly relate to various forms of sadism, but there are other delights.
Mohannad Ahmed al-Tallaa, the commander of the rebel battalion stationed at Tanf, said they began working with US troops at the base late last year. A former officer in an elite Syrian army unit, he defected early in the civil war and has been a vital player in the rebel fight in Deir Ezzor, a province in eastern Syrian that has become a major ISIS stronghold. He created the battalion, called Maghaweir Al-Thowra, or Commandos of the Revolution, with the aim of working with the US-backed coalition to free Deir Ezzor from ISIS, he said, adding that he and his men now live with their US partners. “I’m sitting with them right now,” he said when reached by phone on Tuesday night; men with American accents could be heard speaking English in the background.
The storm itself still comes down to the painfully long sweeps of neighborhoods in the North-Western part of the city with slow but inexorable progress. In the optimistic scenario, this will be done by May. In the pessimistic one, it will until July be delayed (repeating the scenario of Sirte, the last pocket of resistance on the coast was finished after 3 months), although with the exhaustion of ammunition and explosives for the attacks of suicide bombers, the resistance of the fighters will weaken.
Overall, the painful removal of the militants in Mosul will take some time, and of course not without more losses. But in the end Iraq and it will survive, but for the Caliphate the loss of the of Mosul will be a terrible blow, and it’s not only the value of the city, which administratively has long been cut off from the Caliphate and its quasi-state system is actually isolated.The fact that after Stripping the city and district of tal afar, released a large number of troops that will be used for operations in Western Iraq that promises in the second half of 2017 big problems for the Iraqi parts of the Caliphate. So fighters can certainly amuse themselves by bragging about the losses of the Iraqis and the company, but it only underlines a simple truth – the Caliphate as a quasi-state structure will suffer inevitable defeat, crushed by superior opponents, but the way will be a long and blood will be shed fairly. The battle for Mosul is more than demonstrated. On the order of Raqqa.
Islamic State members raised alert in their stronghold town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, after a senior aide to supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was assassinated.
If Baghdadi was really caught, it is a great success – everything is as if in 1945 near Berlin caught a live Hitler.
However, I think we should wait for official statements from our or the Syrian intelligence services. It is possible that this is another element of the information war against the Caliphate in order to undermine the morale of fighters who stubbornly continue to defend the Western part of Mosul.