Other than some laughable exploits attributable to the lackeys serving the conflicted strategies of the CIA and Pentagon in northern Aleppo, there isn’t a lot to write about as the cease-fire continues fairly successfully. Yesterday, the SAA liberated Western Al-Hazm (Al-Hazm Al-Gharbiyya), which you can see on the map overlooks Al-Qaryatayn. The SAA also cleared out Elevation 861 in Al-Hazm giving the army an unobstructed look straight down into the town where the SAF continues to pummel ISIS rat positions. According to our source, the SAF decisively put out of commission 6 vehicles, 2 of which were cannon-armed pickups. The rate of bombings by the air force is a clue to how long the terrorists are expected to hold out. Also just liberated are Al-Raaqima Elevation and Dhahr Al-Kharnoobi.
We are watching nightly efforts to evacuate Al-Qaryatayn of ISIS family members. I can confirm that many cars and vans containing these non-combatants have been stopped and those inside taken to detention facilities outside Homs.
In the meantime, we are watching the slow encirclement of Al-Sukhna where a few hundred ISIS rats are holed up. Terrorist chatter indicates a desire to abandon the town before the Syrian Army’s 7-day respite is to end.
At Tafha Village, about 80 kms from Homs City, the SAF, pummeled rodent positions near Jubb Al-Jarraah. We are seeing a pattern developing of ISIS terrorists sending their families away from the infernal scenes about to envelop the area. This usually is followed by the SAA invading the area. The same is taking place at Al-Busayri Village.
The liberation of Palmyra is having salubrious effects on the army’s morale. This was a victory which resonated remarkably with the population making the army seem even more efficacious, more competent than many had thought. It is true that Russia played a role in wiping out the terrorist presence, but, it was also the formidable coordination between the Syrian Air Force and the army on the ground which impressed so many, leading a substantial number of writers to start questioning whether the war would end soon with a stunning victory at Aleppo. Writers are also beginning to ring the alarm bells for Erdoghan whose durability is now being questioned.
NEWS AND COMMENT:
I don’t like Robert Fisk. I think he’s unctuous and self-important. But, when he writes well, it’s very well. Here’s one sent by Nicholas Reardon:
More Western reproach for Erdoghan’s policies:
Ghassan Kadi makes his case for an imperfect but resurgent Syria: