Yesterday, the Caliphate launched a traditional raid on the Khanasser-Aleppo road. Mobile groups of fighters moving to the North from Itria were able to take a few half-backs and roadblocks, plunder some booty and short to reach the outskirts of the road. Traditionally, the militants were able to achieve tactical surprise. However, due to the insignificance of the forces that were involved in the RAID, unlike previous invasions, which created operational difficulties for Aleppo group of the SAA, the activity of the Caliphate is purely tactical in nature and does not change the overall bleak trend for them in the strategic situation East of Aleppo.
The US and the Kurds continue in turn to expand the bridgehead on the southern Bank of the Euphrates, and continued to occupy towns in the assumption of Raqqa. The supply of equipment for SDF/YPG are continuing, in desert areas, where the actions of mobile groups, small arms and ammunition dropped from a military transport aircraft. Operations of US special forces supported by helicopters and planes with bases in Rojava. In General, everything goes in line with the old trends associated with the creation of operational assumptions associated with the assault on Raqqa. Formerly the deadline is obviously frustrated that the Caliphate can certainly burn itself into an asset, but strategically it doesn’t change anything. Winning 1-2 months is unlikely to allow the Caliphate to significantly change the balance of forces around their capital.
It is obvious that preparations are underway for hostilities against the Caliphate (the regrouping of troops and creation of strike groups requires a certain time), which we will see in the second half of may-early June. As the primary tasks is to sweep the area of the base of the Giro and promotion along the banks of the Euphrates to the administrative borders of Raqqa province + creation of prerequisites for the development of the offensive from the area Itree. Simultaneously, we can expect offensive operations to the North and South of the highway Ties – Palmyra, as well as the mounting of the strike group in the area of the Palmyra, for the ambitious offensive operations in the direction of Deir ez-Zor.
The Release of Tabqa will allow the Americans and the Kurds more actively develop operations to the South of Raqqa for its environment, so that today’s success (prepared by the previous weeks of fighting) is an important step on the road to the direct assault on Raqqa. US strategy associated with the environment of Raqqa, though with difficulty, but it works. The militants could only slow the implementation of this plan, but not to disrupt it.
Fierce clashes are ongoing between the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and ISIS fighters on the road between the town of Tabqa, the city of Raqqa, and the Tabqa Military Airbase where SDF fighters have repelled and ISIS attack on their positions between Tabqa and Raqqa.
The operation in the area of Tabqa is an important stage in the preparation of the assault on Raqqa, which theoretically could begin as early as April, although it is possible that the case will be postponed until may, when it will have accumulated enough power for many months of the campaign to assault the city itself. By the evening of 25 March began to receive reports that DAESH militants have left the airbase Tabqa and departed.
With the fall of Deir-Hafer, you can say that the Caliphate in the province of Aleppo suffered a complete defeat, losing all their key cities (Manbij, Dzharablus, al-Bab, al-Rai, Deir Hafir, Dabic).