ISIS/ISIL conflict in Syria/Iraq (No OpEd, No Politics)

janjak desalin

Junior Member
Sites reporting that Loyalist forces have taken Qarasi and Khan Touman.
Breaking: Syrian Army, Hezbollah capture the strategic village of Al-Qarassi in southern Aleppo
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on December 20, 2015
Moments ago in the Aleppo Governorate’s southern countryside, the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Aleppo City, Hezbollah, and Harakat Al-Nujaba – imposed full control over the strategic village of Al-Qarassi after almost two weeks of intense firefights with the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group), Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham.

According to a battlefield journalist that is embedded with Hezbollah in southern Aleppo, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies seized Al-Qarassi after killing over 30+ enemy combatants from Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham; this high death toll has forced the aforementioned Islamist rebel groups to retreat west in order to decrease their casualties.

With Al-Qarassi fully under their control, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies are now in prime position to strike the strategic town of Khan Touman; this aforementioned town is located along the strategic Aleppo-Damascus Highway (M-5 Highway) that flows through both the provincial capital of Aleppo and Idlib.

Al-Masdar News has received several preliminary reports from the southern Aleppo front this morning; however, many of these reports have yet to be verified and will be posted once they are confirmed by our military analysts.
Syrian Army, Hezbollah Capture Khan Touman in Groundbreaking Victory in Aleppo
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Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:32
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army alongside the National Defense Forces and Hezbollah fighters pushed the militant groups back form more territories in the Southwestern part of Aleppo province and regained full control over the town of Khan Touman on Sunday, informed sources said.

"Khan Touman, the main stronghold of the terrorist group of Jeish al-Fatah in the province, was recaptured minutes ago by the Syrian army and its allies," the sources said.


"After recapturing of Qarassi village, the Syrian government forces stormed the militant groups near Khan Touman and broke through their defense lines, killed many and forced them to retreat from the town," the sources added.

"Khan Touman and its nearby farms are under the full control of the Syrian forces," they said.

At least 81 Jaish al-Fateh militants were killed in the clashes in Khan Touman this morning. The Syrian army has also captured, at least, 10 militants.

"The Takfiri militant groups also withdrew forces from the Architecture Hill near Khan Touman after leaving behind scores of dead members," the sources added.

The Militants are now without a primary supply route from the provincial capital of Idlib to Aleppo province as the Syrian government troops have now cut off the Aleppo-Damascus Highway

Earlier reports said that the Syrian army and Hezbollah fighters, in a joint massive raid, pushed back the militant groups from more lands in the Southern part of Aleppo province after hours of fierce clashes.

"The militant groups withdrew forces from Qarassi village as a result of heavy offensives of the Syrian government forces," the army said.

"Scores of the militants were killed or wounded in the attacks," the army added.

"Qarassi is now under the full control of the army and its allies," the army pointed out.
Hezbollah, Syrian Army cutoff the Aleppo-Damascus Highway after seizing Khan Touman in southern Aleppo
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By
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on December 20, 2015
It took several weeks for the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah to seize the imperative town of Khan Touman that is located along the vast Aleppo-Damascus Highway (M-5 Highway); however, moments ago, the pro-government forces officially declared they are in full control the town after intense firefights with Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham.

Al-Masdar News was informed that Hezbollah led the charge this morning, which ultimately paved the way for the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division and Harakat Al-Nujaba to help push out the Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra to the Idlib Governorate’s northeastern border.

What does the capture of Khan Touman mean to the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies?

Well, perhaps the most important thing is that the Islamist rebels are now without a primary supply route from the provincial capital of the Idlib Governorate to the provincial capital of the Aleppo Governorate.

Without this primary supply route to their militants in southern Aleppo, the Islamist rebels will be forced to find an alternative route to the provincial capital in order to evade the Syrian Arab Army’s guard posts that will likely be constructed along this highway in the near future.
Syrian Army, Hezbollah Fend off Militants' Counterattack on Khan Touman
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Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:43
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army announced minutes ago that its forces and the Lebanese Hezbollah have repelled a large-scale offensive of the militant groups on the newly captured town of Khan Touman, Southwest of Aleppo province, after killing scores of the terrorists.

"The militant groups stormed the government forces' positions on the newly-recaptured town of Khan Touman to break through their defense lines and enter the town," the army said.
"The Syrian army and its allies fended off the militant groups' massive offensive and killed or wounded many of them," the army added.

"The militant group, who withdrew forces from Khan Touman two to three hours ago, tried to enter the town again, but failed as a result of the government forces' resistance," the army went on to say.

"There have been fierce clashes between the government forces and the militants since the recapturing of the town," the army added.

The Syrian army alongside the National Defense Forces and Hezbollah fighters drove the militant groups out of Khan Touman Southwest of Aleppo province earlier today.

"Khan Touman, the main stronghold of the terrorist group of Jeish al-Fatah in the province, was recaptured minutes ago by the Syrian army and its allies," the sources said.

"After recapturing of Qarassi village, the Syrian government forces stormed the militant groups near Khan Touman and broke through their defense lines, killed many and forced them to retreat from the town," the sources added.

"Khan Touman and its nearby farms are under the full control of the Syrian forces," they said.

At least 81 Jeish al-Fatah militants were killed in the clashes in Khan Touman this morning. The Syrian army has also captured, at least, 10 militants.

"The Takfiri militant groups also withdrew forces from the Architecture Hill near Khan Touman after leaving behind scores of dead members," the sources added.

The Militants are now without a primary supply route from the provincial capital of Idlib to Aleppo province as the Syrian government troops have now cut off the Aleppo-Damascus Highway.
 
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FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Charles De Gaulle today again in action, arrived these days in the Gulf with her TF.

Chammal - Charles de Gaulle fighters are again engaged against Daech.
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CVN Truman arrive soon he crossed the Suez Canal 9 days after.

FRA CHA.png

All coalition missions require previously a factual identification with ISR aircrafts/UAV mainly, Atlantique 2 do it very long mission, 14 h during one he can identify up to 30 targets ! based in Jordan now.
Eventually can carry 4 x 227 kg LGB bombs he have a laser designator with her cam.

And each time every time that a tanker truck convoy is attacked there in an earlier release of leaflets to warn drivers.

For pay attention to civilians they are not all for ISIS far from there fortunately ! and often heavily abused and more !

A-400M presumably in Jordan carry log mainly ammunitions from France without stop one replaces at least 2 C-130/160 and more fast.
FR A-400M.jpg
 
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janjak desalin

Junior Member
I've been very critical of the Loyalist forces strategy of attrition in the southwest Aleppo campaign, as we've seen big gains like these reversed in subsequent weeks. Nevertheless, with it, now, being winter in Aleppo, as temperatures drop and battlefield conditions worsen, the better supplied forces, and especially those whose supply chains afford them access to winter gear, will have significant operational advantages. Tents, heaters, heating fuel, boots, gloves, et c., will be of critically significance. Under those circumstances, these attritive battles will favor the Loyalists.

It seems that this Fall Offensive will follow the pattern of the classical wars of Autumn, gain ground during harvest season and hold it for the season of scarcity. In the long-term (next six months/two seasons), this could get very interesting on the strategic level.
 
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janjak desalin

Junior Member
My new avatar is based on my proposed, post-civil war, New Syrian National Flag/Ensign.

New Syrian Flag 2a.jpg

Using historical context from :
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,
which provides this information:
Syrian Arabic Republic Flag - Colors meaning
Red symbolizes bloody struggle for freedom
White represents bright peaceful future
Green Stars represent Syria and Egypt, the two constituents of the short-lived United Arab Republic (1958-1961)
Black symbolizes oppression,

I propose a flag symbolizing an upward/positive progression from the much bloodshed and oppression of war through the healing of the blood through peace to a peaceful unified nation.

I prefer the gold star to represent the unified nation,

New Syrian Flag 2.jpg

but the green has historic resonance in Arab national flag symbologies.
 
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janjak desalin

Junior Member
On Dec 5,
[...] However, something is up with the Khan Touman/Al Qarassi area, though, that I'm just not gettin'. There has been no real movement in this particular area. I'm thinkin' that Loyalist forces might be either better suited, or more inclined, to open field combat than to urban. That takes real commitment/guts! Hopefully, the T-90s that have been deployed to the area will help. [...]
Today, almasdarnews.com is reporting that:

T-90 tanks help propel Hezbollah and the Syrian Army in Southern Aleppo
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on December 21, 2015
Over the last 2 months in the Aleppo Governorate’s southern countryside, the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah have attempted to capture the strategic town of Khan Touman from the Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group).

On Sunday morning; this long battle for Khan Touman finally came to an end after the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division – in coordination with Hezbollah, Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary), and the National Defense Forces (NDF) – imposed full control over the town and its surrounding farms.

Prior to capturing the town of Khan Touman, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies seized the imperative village of Al-Qarassi following a series of intense firefights with the Islamist rebels of Faylaq Al-Sham, Jabhat Al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, and Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki.

The capture of this aforementioned village paved the way for the pro-government forces to strike Khan Touman’s eastern perimeter and ultimately impose full control over it two hours later.

In addition to the capture of Al-Qarassi and Khan Touman, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies seized the small hilltop village of Tal Al-‘Amarrah, which is located directly west of Khan Touman.

The Syrian Arab Army’s use of the Russian manufactured T-90 tank played an integral role during this battle, as its protective armor and durability made it difficult for the enemy combatants to halt their advance.
 

Jura

General
yesterday
... a video of Rebels' artillery working today (don't know exactly in which part of that area), which could hardly be effective against the T-90 FORBIN posted above :)
...
now found a similar video:
while waiting for what "my" Russian sources will have to say
 

Jura

General
is it true
U.S. has mapped ISIS hiding spots, but won’t launch strikes for fear of civilian deaths
? source is The Washington Times:
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In a secret project tied to the overall U.S. campaign against the Islamic State, intelligence officials have spent months mapping out known physical locations of media safe houses where the extremist group’s operatives are compiling, editing and curating raw video and print materials into finished digital propaganda products for dissemination across the Internet.

Most of the locations are embedded in heavily residential areas in Syria, Iraq and Libya and are not being targeted by U.S. airstrikes because of Obama administration concerns about civilian casualties, according to sources who spoke to The Washington Times only on the condition of anonymity.

The White House also has been pressing the intelligence community to continue studying the facilities for a deeper understanding of how the Islamic State and its media enterprises operate, the sources said.

While the White House, CIA and
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declined to comment on the clandestine mapping project, its existence was revealed amid mounting debate over whether the
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’s strategy is robust enough for countering the professionalized blitz of digital propaganda that the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, is using to recruit fighters and radicalize supporters around the world.

The
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is engaged publicly in a dual-track approach that involves an interagency push to spread carefully crafted messaging online and through local partners in various corners of the world to counter the Islamic State, while ramping up pressure on American social media companies to block extremist content and links from their online platforms.

But critics, including a growing number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill and some current and former officials directly involved in the project, say the
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’s effort is badly mismanaged and underfunded, allowing the Islamic State to maintain a physical footprint of media production houses upon which creation of the terrorist group’s most influential products depends.

The propaganda operation’s vastness and sophistication are considered unprecedented in Islamic terrorism. Although its penetration across the Internet relies on a seemingly endless spray of links posted by the Islamic State on social media sites, it is the core media products that such links lead back to that analysts describe as most worrisome.

Twelve issues of the group’s official propaganda magazine Dabiq are now online in several languages, including Arabic, English, Russian, French and Turkish. The shiny content, organizational integrity and layout are more thorough and professional than those of many American newsmagazines.

More striking for the visually driven young audience are the dozens of highly curated recruiting videos that Islamic State operatives have produced using elaborate graphic animations, special effects, live-action speed edits and Hollywood-quality voice-overs.

Videos that have emerged in recent months are clearly bent on reaching an international audience way beyond the borders of the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate in
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and Iraq. The first Chinese-language Islamic State video appeared online last week, replete with a theme song calling on Muslims to “wake up” from a century of humiliation.

The most recent English-language video circulated roughly a month ago. Not only did it go to staggering lengths to mock the U.S. military’s failure to contain the Islamic State, but a sober-voiced narrator also went so far as to taunt America over the sensitive issue of suicide rates among U.S. soldiers and veterans.

“You claim to have the greatest army history has known. You may have the numbers and weapons, but your soldiers lack good will and resolve,” the deep voice says in unaccented English. “Still scared from their defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq, they return dead or suicidal, with over 6,500 of them killing themselves each year. So while you go around cooking the facts on the results of your military airstrikes, we continue to haunt the minds of your soldiers and sew fear into their hearts.”

Animation-enhanced blood bursts and sprays across a white background in the video as gunshots ring out — a macabre display apparently designed to depict the suicides of American service members.

What is unclear is specifically where the video was edited. Intelligence officials say the final cut could have been produced and uploaded to an Internet host site by Islamic State admirers anywhere in the world.

“There are a number of ISIL supporters online that help disseminate propaganda or craft their own,” said one U.S. intelligence official, who spoke anonymously with The Times.

But there are indications it was originally produced at an editing house in Islamic State-held territory — either in Iraq,
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or one of the many “provinces” that have arisen over the past year in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Afghanistan, Nigeria, the North Caucasus and beyond.

An October report by the Quilliam Foundation, a counterextremism think tank based in the United Kingdom, pointed to the existence of 35 media organizational outfits that produce propaganda material from “all corners of the Islamic State ‘caliphate.’”

“This is an exceptionally sophisticated information operation campaign, the success of which lies in the twin pillars of quantity and quality,” the report said. “Given this scale and dedication, negative measures like censorship are bound to fail.”

The report suggested that the separate media operations are all in some way linked to an “Islamic State Central Media Command.”

Detailed information about the command’s physical location, along with that of any of the smaller, individual media outfits, is closely guarded.

One of the sources who spoke to The Times described efforts to track the physical locations of Islamic State media outfits as a “major intelligence priority” and asserted that officials “have it mapped but can’t talk about it.”

The notion, meanwhile, that U.S. officials possess such information is confounding to some analysts.

“Obviously, if we know where they’re producing the propaganda, we should be doing everything we can to destroy their facilities,” said William McCants, a Brookings Institution scholar and former State Department senior adviser for countering violent extremism. He authored the recently released book “The ISIS Apocalypse.”

But Mr. McCants also said he “would anticipate that the network ISIS media production operations is pretty well distributed physically.”

In late November, The Washington Post published findings from interviews with more than a dozen Islamic State defectors and members, who provided detailed accounts of their involvement in, or exposure to, a
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- and Iraq-based propaganda operation fueled with cameras, computers and other video equipment that arrives in regular shipments from Turkey.

In one Islamic State-controlled enclave near the Syrian city of Aleppo, the media division’s headquarters, was a two-story home in a residential neighborhood, according to some of the defectors, who told The Post that the home was packed with high-end equipment, had Internet access through a Turkish wireless service and served as an editorial office for Dabiq and al-Furqan — an Islamic State media channel believed to be responsible for many of the extremist group’s videos.

The
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declined to comment when pressed about The Post’s findings, and the question of whether the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State has taken — or is planning to take action — against the Aleppo location.

Army Col. Steve Warrant, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, told The Times that he could “not discuss intelligence-related issues [or] disclose current and future details of our targeting efforts for specific facilities.” He also said he could not point to any specific examples of coalition action against any such media command centers.

Another source who spoke anonymously with The Times said debate over whether or not to authorize U.S. military strikes against the centers is heated within the
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because leaving them online allows officials to continue studying them.

“There’s always this balance between needing to take action and needing to study how they operate,” said the source, who added that “bombing is absolutely not the only way to take a communications product offline.”

There is also the reality that many Islamic State media centers are completely embedded in civilian communities — something that is particularly vexing for some in the
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, which has privately touted the U.S.-led airstrikes against the terrorist group as the most precise campaign in history in terms of minimizing civilian casualties.
etc.; size-limit reached
 

Jura

General
...
while waiting for what "my" Russian sources will have to say
first of all, the new edition of "kot ivanov" map:

(should be "clickable", if it's not, you can go to
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to see it)

second, the most recent account by "Cassad":
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(be warned it contains gruesome pictures, as somebody in the discussion below that blog noticed, all the dead were stripped of their shoes!)

and on a side note:
Yesterday at 5:45 PM
... I saw a video of Rebels firing a TOW toward outskirts of Khan Tuman from what's marked "Grain silos" below:
(I don't post that video as it shows a Squad of soldiers getting ... hurt)

...
... and I think this is the view from the other side:

Government Forces not there yet, according to some recent Iranian map:
 
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FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Over the last 2 months in the Aleppo Governorate’s southern countryside, the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division
Curious normaly 4th Armored
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)
then a change but on your map Jura, 4 MK normaly confirm 4th Mech Div now

And interesting about 3 years Army have 220000 pers now 1250000, half

Size
Active personnel:
125,000 at April 2015
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then logically same for Equipment

A big decrease but no surprising desertion, change camps, losses... it is really in this area a true mess :D :rolleyes: also can be seen everyone get easy or almost a gun, mortar... the true Far West :eek:

Bro your map interesting remains language problem... but you post big o_O
 

Jura

General
Curious normaly 4th Armored
...
bro I think the Government Forces have to improvise a lot, for example I've read they organize what in the past would've been called Sturmtruppen if you know what I mean

Bro your map interesting remains language problem... but you post big o_O
sorry if the map doesn't work you; I think the real language problem here is with the Arabic though, by the way now I noticed:
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(not sure how credible that site is, but they also post pictures so it's not just babbling)
 
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