Small Wars Journal

Assad Regime Gains in Aleppo Alter Balance of Power in Northern Syria

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 7:57pm

Assad Regime Gains in Aleppo Alter Balance of Power in Northern Syria by Christopher Kozak, Institute for the Study of War

Battlefield realities rather than great power politics will determine the ultimate terms of a settlement to end the Syrian Civil War. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies in Russia and Iran have internalized this basic principle even as Washington and other Western capitals pinned their hopes upon UN-sponsored Geneva Talks, which faltered only two days after they began on February 1, 2016. Russian airpower and Iranian manpower have brought President Assad within five miles of completing the encirclement of Aleppo City, the largest urban center in Syria and an opposition stronghold since 2012. The current campaign has already surpassed the high-water mark set by the regime’s previous failed attempt to besiege Aleppo City in early 2015. The full encirclement of Aleppo City would fuel a humanitarian catastrophe, shatter opposition morale, fundamentally challenge Turkish strategic ambitions, and deny the opposition its most valuable bargaining chip before the international community…

Read on.


Outlaw 09

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 8:10am

Reference Iranian backed "transnational shia jihadists"

New Kata'ib Hezbollah video, presenting used #US arms and attacks on #US troops.

so this is the end result of what the Obama "Iran Deal" got the US.....???

Outlaw 09

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 1:09pm

Hope Obama and Kerry have taken notice of this ........

FM Muallem makes it official: Assad & ISIS negotiated a settlement in Hajar Aswad, Damascus (ceasefire, relocation) basically the Syrian regime is prepared to negotiate with ISIS but not with the Syrian opposition. That says a lot.

Outlaw 09

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 12:54pm

MSM is not fully understanding the complexity of the Syrian fighting...Aleppo was never truly "lost".

4 Iranians #IRGC Col.Sattar Owrang, Abuzar Davoudi, Esmail Shojaei, Mostafa Qasempour killd in northern Aleppo,Syria

Reports that the regime Jorin military camp in rural #Hama is under heavy Grad rocket attack by rebels

FSA pounding Assad army & IRGC in Nubl/Zahra north #Aleppo w/ rocket launchers used for the 1st time in this battle

Outlaw 09

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 10:21am

Really worth listening to this short video clip by an excellent author who understands Syria....mentions a number of things CrowBat has been saying on the Syrian thread.....about democratically elected Syrian local councils....we never hear anything about them in the western MSM

He also has some bitter comments about MSM Syria reporting or actually the misreporting out of Syria.......

Robin Yassin-Kassab, Author, Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War
excellent film featuring @Qunfuz1

NOTICE he uses the interesting term "transnational Shia jihadists"......

ABSOLUTELY no conversation concerning this development out of this WH and the western MSM .....just as dangerous as the Sunni some ways far more dangerous as they have definitely not abandoned their Khomeini battle cry..."death to Americans...death to the US..."

WHEN Russian AF air strikes are not raining down on the FSA by the minute they are fully capable of pushing Assad back..

Brutally graphic video of a close range infantry fight yesterday.........

The vid is out. Watch #Assad troops get slaughtered outside Birg 39 in #EastGhouta #Damascus

Outlaw 09

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 8:47am

In reply to by Outlaw 09

This is what the Obama/Kerry "Iranian Deal" got Syria..YET the world worries about IS.......?

This is IRGC Brigadier General "Mohsen" who got killed north of #Aleppo this week.

Interesting Instagram pictures, from an Iraqi "journalist", taking part in the northern #Aleppo offensive
NOTE: he was with one of the 30 odd Iraqi Shia militias fighting in and around Aleppo.

Iran admits 6 #IRGC KIAs near #Aleppo this week, among them a Brigadier General.
Where is the world's outcry?!

The bodies of 2 #IRGC officers and 24 more Iranian soldiers, killed north of #Aleppo, arrived in #Iran.

Iranian revolutionary guard general Satar Ornek killed in Aleppo

Hezbollah confirmed the deaths of at least 10 Hezbollah fighters in last 24 hours

Syrian Rebels kill 2 sectarian Shia Iraqi militia generals in Aleppo
1- Majid Nan
2-Mahmoud Hashemi

NOTICE MSM missed completely that those fighting in Aleppo were not from the Syrian Arab Army BUT rather the Syrian Afghan Army????

NOT a single word .......

Outlaw 09

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 7:48am

NOTICE both this article and virtually the entire western MSM did not carry anything on the facts mentioned below..why is that????

Not a single MSM article on just how is it that IS the avowed enemy that Russia went into Syria to utterly destroy is working hand in hand with the Russian military in full support to Assad.....not a single MSM article of this??

During the N #Aleppo offensive:
- not a single Russian bomb hit #ISIS
- not a single ISIS attack hit #Assad's front

Western MSM is tap dancing around both the truth and ground reality while ignoring the sheer destruction ongoing in Syria...why is that??

Outlaw 09

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 7:18am

A serious question has been raising it's ugly head on social media since the failure of the Geneva talks and the over 1000 Russian air strikes largely attacking the anti Assad opposition forces and the "alleged Kerry pressure on the HNC...exactly as he has been doing on Ukraine.....

Is the US Obama and Kerry "successful Syrian strategy ACTUALLY the same strategy being followed by Assad/Putin and Khamenei?????

The destruction of any anti Assad opposition and leaving basically IS in "peace".....

NOT sure just how Kerry is going to "walk back this".......????

Feature: #Kerry --- "Go and Blame Your Opposition" for Russia's Bombing… … | .@EANewsFeed #PSRG

Outlaw 09

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 7:03am

Kerry's statements via the US Embassy are going from meaning really nothing at all and or to totally being pathetic........OR worse for the US FP..they are nothing but lies....

U.S. Embassy Syria 
‏@USEmbassySyria #SecKerry: We'll know in the next few days who is serious & who is not. That has always been the intention of the diplomatic process.

Word for word exactly what he used as the argument to force the HNC to Geneva AND here is the key ALMOST exactly what he is forcing the Ukraine to do in the US pressure on Ukraine to commit to unilateral appeasement moves ALL designed by Kerry and Obama to "save Putin's face"......

THIS is a clear and concise example of just how bad the Obama WH has gotten AND how bad they are getting caught in their own spun web of lies......

Obama and Kerry now have virtually no creditability in the entire ME and it is sinking fast in the eastern Ukraine.....where there has been major attacks over the last two months...YET Kerry stated after a visit to Putin...with "efforts and some good faith" we can lift the Russian sanctions..

John Kirby
‏@statedeptspox @Charles_Lister Story wrong. @JohnKerry didn't blame oppo for collapse of talks, doesn't have comms w/regime & hasn't wavered on Assad.

Charles Lister
‏@Charles_Lister John Kerry to #Syria aid workers in #London:

"Don’t blame me, go & blame your opposition"

No comms w/regime? So what's Nir Rosen doing btwn WH & Damascus? Drafting an ultimate frisbee team?

.@KyleWOrton will @statedeptspox go on record that former NSC staffer Steven Simon was not sent by WH to speak w/Assad regime?

NO WH response to this question.....BUT it was all ready answered by their silence.....they tend to forget that silence is usually means a YES.

This has to be the worst President, NSC and DoS Sec in 70 years...after back to back bad Presidents Bush/Obama the next one will have to dig the US FP out of a mineshaft not simply a "self dug hole".

Outlaw 09

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 6:58am

Would like to remind the Obama WH and especially Kerry about this 2014 article that almost fits the current Kerry/Assad/Iranian/Russian FP being driven by Kerry and denied at the same time by Kerry....

Words often come back to haunt..........

Here is Tony Badran @AcrossTheBay predicting almost word for word how Kerry would bring Iran into Syria.
Article dated Jan 31, 2014

Where is again US MSM on this issue...nowhere to be seen and or heard....

Tony Badran
That’s the intention of the process. Super serial.

Outlaw 09

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 4:53am

In reply to by Outlaw 09

NOR has the western MSM and the Obama WH noticed this very slight indicator of the massive Iranian IRGC presence in Syria........

List of 36 Iranian Generals & Officers killed north #Aleppo in 2 days fighting for #Assad - @Arabi21News

Outlaw 09

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 4:51am

SWJ commenters are mostly better informed than the entire western MSM and the Obama WH......this is what the "Iran Deal" got Obama......and yet not a single response about this development from Iran in Syria which has basically "now invaded Syria".....

CrowBat...have you heard much about this move........

Syria Videos Since January 2016 Show that 12 Militant Groups Have All joined "The guards of the Levant movement"

The group in question is result of that recent merger of Jabhat ash-Shamiya and Kataib Thuwar ash-Sham, which I've reported several days ago.


Notice not even this article picked up on the massive Shia mercenary numbers fighting in and around Aleppo...the FSA literally has been slaughtering the AFG Shia fighters which the IRGC basically used as cannon fodder in their assaults..

That said... proportions of IRGC's deployment to Syria are now reaching (for me) 'mindblowing' proportions. Financing, recruiting, and training of quasi-NDF 'battalions' that then turned Hezbollah/Syria, or SSNP, BPM etc.... financing, recruiting, trianing and deploying 20,000 Iraqi Shi'a... 'all OK' - and 'nothing new' since August-September 2013.

But, I would never expect to see the IRGC deploying what appears to be up to 10.000 own troops and Basiji - i.e. IRANIAN - combatants into a de-facto military invasion of Syria.

And there's not a peeps from the West about this...