According to local sources, the Syrian army and pro-Assad units are completing a local sweep in the Northeast province of Latakia in preparation for a major offensive against the stronghold of the group “Al-Nusra”, mountain fortress city Salma.
We know that in this city are also the so-called Free Syrian Army, but the combat potential is close to zero the experts believe . To break through the enemy’s defense, a striking force was created from parts of the 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard, the paramilitary units of the National Defence Forces and Qurdaha Muqawama Souri (Syrian Resistance), as well as divisions of Syrian Social Nationalist Party.
There is evidence of the presence of the assault group of Iranian Revolutionary Guard motorized infantry. By taking Salma, pro-Assad forces will open a direct route to one of the major transportation hubs in north-western Syria – the city of Jisr al-Shughur in Idlib province.
Intense fighting continues in the southern outskirts of Aleppo, the country’s largest city. There the army was able to repel the offensive of ISIS on As-Safir and Nasiriyah, having secured the fringes of the city captured by Sheikh Ahmad’s proxies, adjacent to a key track on which the IS receives supplies. Groups managed to break the resistance of the IS in the fortified village of Kveyris Sharqi, by firing at the defenders from the rear air base. According to the military command, if the extremists withdrew in large numbers, the removal of an ongoing three-year blockade of the airbase will happen before the end of the week.
[O.R: the siege of the aforementioned airbase was lifted on the 10th November by the SAA]
It should also be noted that in recent days the army completely regained the territory that had been lost in the course of the IS counter-offensive in late October. The front at Nasiriyah and Al-Safir was recaptured, as well as Dzhabul.
The 4th Mechanized Division of the Syrian army, supported by troops of the Lebanese Shiite group “Hezbollah”, captured Talaylat village on the outskirts of the strategic city of Al-Khader in southern Aleppo. The capture of the village allowed the troops into the southern part of the city of Al-Khader with almost no resistance from the Islamist terrorists of “Ahrar al-Sham” and small groups such as “Harakat al-Nuriddin” and “Sukur al-Sham.”
The General Staff expects that the upcoming battle for the Al-Khader will allow the government to regain control over a portion of the Aleppo – Damascus highway; Idlib province now remains under the military control of the group “Ahrar al-Sham.”
Intense fighting continued in the provinces of Latakia, Homs, Damascus, Dara, Aleppo and Hasaka. In the province of Latakia, after fierce fighting, the city of Gamam was captured. In the province of Homs pro-Assad forces are advancing in the direction of ancient Palmyra near the villages of Baraui and Aziz Aziz Samaan. In the province of Damascus a massive counterattack on jihadist positions by Syrian troops near the town of Darayya took place, which destroyed dozens of terrorists. Fierce fighting continued in East Ghouta and Dzhobar.
In the province of Daraa a training camp belonging to the group “Al-Nusra” was destroyed. In the southern province of Hasaka, a renewed joint operation of Syrian troops and Kurdish groups was announced in the Villages of Tal Serena and Rajm al-Sayyaran. US officials have said that Russia has expanded its area of application of combat helicopters to a large part of the territory of Syria. Now, according to their data, Russian Mi-24 and Mi-8 are not just taking off from an air base in the province of Latakia, but also from the other three air bases in central and northern Syria.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman at a regular press briefing, informed a significant change in the tactics of terrorist groups throughout the territory of Syria. As noted by Major-General Igor Konashenkov, “gangs are not as aggressive as they were a month ago. Today, terrorists are trying to conduct flexible defensive tactics, regularly moving and dodging punches as the Syrian government troops and the Russian airforce seek and destroy.”
According to the speaker of the Defense Ministry, the terrorists are now forced to constantly change routes for arms and ammunition, preferring to transport at night “using the elements to disguise them.” Lebanese newspaper Ad-Diyar published an interesting article, telling about the phone call between Saudi monarch Salman Al Saud and the US President Barack Obama, in which the king reportedly bemoaned the White House’s indecision, not allowing time to stop the devastating blows of Moscow to the Saud-sponsored insurgents in Syria . “We have no choice” – the newspaper quoted King Salman – “or you will allow Putin to create an immediate unconditional cease-fire in Syria to end its military campaign, and we intend to revise our alliance with the United States and unilaterally take direct efforts to overthrow Assad , including, if necessary, a military confrontation. ”
In fact, the Saudis, who are stuck in the Yemeni conflict against the Houthis, do not have a real military force. Riyadh’s terrorist groups are in danger of completely losing the loyal clientele among extremists in Syria, and are becoming more and more nervous. In addition to the moral satisfaction from the humiliation of the anti-Russian groups in the Middle East, Moscow should be ready for the inevitable use of Saudi’s last military-technical trump card in the hope of changing the course of the fighting in their favour – the supply of modern MANPADS.
Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ