The destruction of the monuments of Palmyra | Colonel Cassad

About what is happening in Deir ez-Zor and Palmyra, the SAA are now deploying offensive activity against the Caliphate in three directions. You can say that the command of the SAA intends to use the difficulties of the Caliphate on other fronts and stiffness of their forces battle for Deir-ez-Zor, to use the achieved numerical superiority on the chosen directions of attacks.

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The military situation in Syria 18.01.2017 | Colonel Cassad

As the Syrians understand the complexity of the situation in Deir ez-Zor, continuing the offensive East of Tiyas, but the pace of advance there are quite modest, to be able to talk about the crisis that forced the Caliphate to bring additional troops. In this respect, the attack in the direction of Deir hafir or the training throw on Tabqa, may force the Caliphate to reconsider their priorities, although without proper preparation, such offensive operations can be quite risky due to the lack of troops to ensure the flanks of the strike force and control over the supply lines. Apparently real plans to liberate Deir-ez-Zor were attributed to spring and have been linked to the onset of Palmyra. The defeat of the Caliphate in December 2016, the first year dealt a serious blow to those plans.

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The military situation in Syria. 09.01.2017 | Colonel Cassad

In General, the parties expected the talks in Astana on January 23 and subsequent negotiations between Russia and USA that somehow will clarify many important points for understanding the future course of the winter-spring campaign of 2017. Prerequisites to a complete end of hostilities of course not – it is about changing foreign policy situation around Syria and the definition of the list of hot fronts, where fighting will continue and which will be created by military means the conditions for the subsequent peace talks.This negotiation step is necessary to consolidate a new military-political reality established after the defeat of the “green” in the battle for Aleppo.

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The Castle Of Jabar | Colonel Cassad

During the offensive to the West of Raqqa, the SDF forces/YPG with the support of the USA took the castle of Jabar to the North of the airbase Tabka. The Caliphate slowly moves to the main defensive positions to the West and North-West of Raqqa, where it is planned to organize a long-term defense on a narrow front. Some of the forces withdrew to the South Bank of the Euphrates – some in the direction of the Tabka, others to al-Baba. At the current pace of progress SDF, in March the Kurds should go on near the outskirts of Raqqa to the West, plus will probably attempt to advance to the capital of the Caliphate from the North. It is also not excluded the option of trying to cross the Euphrates in the area of Tabka, to the benefit of the territory Rojava Americans imported including engineering technique that can be used in the construction of a pontoon bridge in the case of formation of a bridgehead on the southern Bank of the Euphrates. Although in General, it is more likely that priority will be given for a direct advance to Raqqa.

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Fighting for Tiyas. 18.12.2016 | Colonel Cassad

In terms of long-term strategy, the loss of Palmyra of course greatly complicates the preparations for the unblocking of Deir ez-Zor. This is actually the main operational problem with the loss of Palmyra. But as we have shown failure at Palmyra and Tabqa stretched far ahead of “gut” with open flanks, quite vulnerable to attacks on communications and for planning the return of Palmyra, or a more ambitious hike to Deir-ez-Zor have to solve a non-trivial task of protecting the flanks of the advancing group. But it is rather a long-term problem.It appears that without preliminary Stripping of the oil fields North of Palmyra in the direction Itree, to launch an offensive in Deir ez-Zor is unlikely to succeed. While the SAA deals with more mundane things associated with the stabilization of the front in Eastern HOMS.

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No end in sight: Failed Tabqa offensive reveals underlying shortcomings of regime forces | ORYX Blog

The regime’s recent offensive against the Islamic State aimed at clearing large parts of desert in Syria’s Raqqa Governorate of Islamic State presence took a drastic turn when a counter-attack spread chaos and fear among the forces spearheading the offensive. Completely misjudging the impending danger and incapable of properly anticipating the Islamic State’s counter-attack, the offensive collapsed and instead of capturing large swaths of territory, the remaining regime forces were forced on the defensive, eventually being beaten all the way back to their starting point. The outcome of the offensive came as a surprise to many, not in the least because its exact goals remained unclear for some.

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