Syraq SITREP 58: Mattis Vows U.S. Will Stay in Syria Indefinitely, SAA Preparing Dara’a, Quneitra Offensive

Syraq SITREP 58: Mattis Vows U.S. Will Stay in Syria Indefinitely, SAA Preparing Dara’a, Quneitra Offensive

NOTE: This is our 58th Syraq SITREP written for RogueMoney. Barring any major U.S. or Israeli strikes in Syria, the Russian Analyst plans to publish fewer Syraq SITREPs on RM this summer.

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is preparing for a major offensive to liberate the southern part of the country from jihadists who serve as a buffer between Damascus southern outskirts and the Israeli occupied Golan Heights. This offensive will be led by the SAA’s elite Tiger Forces commanded by Brigadier General Suheil Hassan (portrayed with Russian airpower art on the left) and the 4th Armored Division.

However, Islamic State remnants which have been attacking across the Euphrates River from territory nominally controlled by the U.S. and its Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) allies forced the SAA to delay the big push south. Syrian government forces have beaten back Daesh at Abu Kamal, a city that borders Iraq’s Al-Qaim which is the overland linkage between Damascus and friendly forces from Baghdad. SAA units also went on the offensive against ISIS in the southeastern Badiya Al-Sham region, killing over 20 Daesh terrorists near Sweida. But SAA fighting with ISIS units operating from American controlled territory continues.

Speaking on Friday at a NATO forum in Brussels, Defense Secretary James Mattis vowed to keep U.S. occupation forces in Syria indefinitely after the elimination of the remaining ISIS pockets along the Syrian-Iraqi border, saying a hasty withdrawal of American troops would be a “strategic blunder”.

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