SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 – SECOND POST – GRUESOME BATTLE FOR HANANO IN ALEPPO; SYRIAN GOVERNMENT OPENS TELEPHONE LINES TO ALEPPO; DAMASCUS ALMOST COMPLETELY TERRORIST FREE;
Imagine our relief last night, when, after I had fininshed a conference with supporters of Presidential Candidate Rocky Anderson, of the Justice Party, we received a call from my wife’s nephew in Sulaymaniyya, Aleppo. The call was clear, apparently, and Aida was relieved to hear familiar voices. Her nephew told her about the devastation brought on by the terroist infestation of several districts, Salahuddine, Sayf-Al-Dawla and Al-Madina, but that the quarter in the north, Hanano, remains a site of intense battles proving what we wrote two days ago when we quoted a French officer telling a terrorist that “if you end in Aleppo, it’s the end of you”.
Her nephew told her that the Syrian army had sustained significant losses due to “snipers”. The biggest cause
of fatalities among the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was remnant killers left on tops of building whose sole purpose was to slow down infantry and militia as they angstromed their way across the city. To some extent, this worked, since it gave the terrorists sufficient time to regroup. But he also said that reinforcements for the terrorists did not come. The pathways into this metropolis were effectively closed off meaning that potential infiltrators had to take positions outside in the rural areas. He said statements that the terrorists controlled 60% of the city were “outright lies”.
This photo from Ugarit News shows the devastation in Salahuddine. The terrorists set up nests in this quarter but were eventually uprooted when whole populations left and they had no cover. Our information is that over 400 terrorists were killed in this area alone.
The opening of telephone lines is significant because it evinces confidence in the way the campaign is going for the SAA. But Hanano, remains contested. It’s the only district left that the terrorists can claim they have a strong foothold. We have received information that new troops from Damascus have arrived by air in Aleppo and are being forwarded to that district.
Nazir, my old friend who is in Lebanon, called me today about an unrelated matter. Nazir is a SSNP member of long standing whose views are respected at SyrPer. His opinion was that Damascus (he just got back from there) had seen the end of the fighting and that the Islamist enemy would be defeated completely before the start of the American elections in November. His view seems to jibe with that of Aida’s nephew who thinks that new reinforcements for the SAA will probably eradicate the terrorists presence in Aleppo and push them back into Turkey or the countryside.
There can be no question that the NATO effort to unseat the president of Syria has failed. Strategies and tactics designed to entrench terrorists in major cities so as to cast pall of doubt over the Syrian government’s ability to control territory have been squelched. The matter of the countryside, rural areas, is something else which will demand increasing attention as the months wear on.
The number of Syrian refugees has gone up significantly during the last few weeks partly due to the spike in SAA military operations and threats from roving bands of Islamist killers whose purpose is to catalyze emigration. I will discuss this terrorists-NATO strategy in an upcoming post. Now, I have to write an Arabic e-mail.