South Front – Syria Battlefields Reviews

 

A ceasefire came into effect in Syria after five years of fighting. While some militants occasionally violate it, Syria’s population began to breathe more freely as the amount of shelling has decreased. Over a hundred armed formations agreed to halt operations. On March 7, peace negotiations are to start in Geneva to determine a path toward compromise and discuss the possibility of creating a transitional government.

Ceasefire coordinating HQ began its operations at Hmeimim. All opposition groups desiring to participate in the ceasefire must register with it. The next two weeks ought to prove decisive, as all sides need to reach a consensus.

Russian VKS halted its combat operations due to the ceasefire. It did so to avoid targeting mistakes and subsequent accusations which could undermine the poliical process. The coordinating HQ has compiled a map of so-called “green zones” signifying areas controlled by opposition groups which agreed to participate in the ceasefire. A copy was sent to the US DOD, which in turn shared its available information.

Damascus Province

SAA liberated the Marj-al-Sultan airbase, located east of Damascus, two months ago and pushed the enemy out of a sizable part of the region. Since then government forces had only minor successes. Territory around the airbase was cleared of militants to establish a wide security belt.

But that state of affairs does not satisfy the SAA which ordered the Republican Guard’s 102nd Brigade and 416th Regiment to fully liberate Eastern Guta from the Islamists. SAA is supported by National Defense Force (NDF) militias and Palestinian Liberation Army units.

It appears that the attack will be focused on the Tel Ferzat heights and the agricultural college campus. These are the militants’ last strongholds in easern Damascus.

The earlier reports that Tel Ferzat was liberated proved incorrect. SAA only occupied a number of farms.

Latakia Province

Commandos of the 103rd Republican Guard Brigade are performing beyond reproach in Latakia’s north-east, where they are operating with naval infantry and volunteer formation support. Nearly whole region is now clear of the militants.

Syrian commandos forced Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar ash-Sham off two key heights and approached the border with Turkey which is now only 2km distant. A few more heights remain to be cleared of the Islamists.

Aleppo Province

Earlier reports that the main supply road to Aleppo was cleared proved premature. Tiger Forces did indeed clear most of the towns along the “road of life”, however it still remains under militant fire.

Tiger Forces with Hezbollah support finally threw ISIS out of Al-Hamam. The commandos entered the village last evening and then forced the militants to abandon it. Militant counter-attack had failed, with the loss of 30 of their comrades. Additional 40 were wounded.

Stubborn fighting against ISIS is ongoing along the Sheikh Hilal–Ithriyah road, which is a secondary supply route into Aleppo. SAA forces received significant air support which struck militant reinforcement columns coming from Hama. It is expected the opening of both routes is only a matter of hours, and then the path to Aleppo will be once again clear.

http://southfront.org/international-military-review-syria-feb-29-2016/

INTERNATIONAL MILITARY REVIEW – SYRIA, MAR. 1, 2016

On Feb.29, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) took control of the village of Al-Fadiyaya near the Marj Al-Sultan military airport in the East Ghouta region of Greater Damascus. Al-Nusra and Jaysh Al-Islam had operated in the area. Securing Al-Fadiyaya north of the Marj Al-Sultan Military Airport, the SAA is able to defend the air base’s helicopter airfields.

The East Ghouta has the highest concentration of Al-Nusra militants in Greater Damascus. Thus, the SAA’s actions can’t be recignized as a violation of the ceasefire which doesn’t expand on Al Nusra, ISIS and linked terrorist groups.

Mainstream media and think tanks have already started a propagandistic campaign aimed to clean up the public image of the so-called “moderate opposition” even if Al Nusra and linked units are the only power of these moderates on the ground. Diverse range of statements aimed to prove that the “regime” and Russians violate the ceasefire is a common part of this campaign.

Some 250 militants laid down their arms and turned themselves in to the Syrian officials in the province of Dara’a on Monday. The 250 surrendered militants are mostly from al-Sanamein region, including 130 from the village of Kefr Shams.

In the province of Homs, the SAA the Syrian National Defense Forces imposed full control over 8 hilltops overloking the village of Jazal controlled by ISIS. This sets the ground to launch an advance on this village and to secure the oil reach area in the Jazal Mountains.

The loyalist forces who imposed full control over the village of Ayn al-Bayda located at the strategic M4 highway have deployed their forces only 15 km from the strategic city of Jisr al-Shughour. Meanwhile, the Syrian government has been reportedly concentrate forces in the area of Jabal al-Akrad in order to support the advance along the M4 highway.

There are also unconfirmed reports that SAA and YPG units have been preparing an advance in Northern Aleppo in order to cut off the vestiges of the militants’ supply lines from Turkey. If this is done, the anti-terrorist forces will force militants in the area to peace.

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Source: Southfront

 

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