Syraq SITREP 59: SAA and Iraqi PMU Get Hit by Israeli Strike Near Abu Kamal, Syrians Clash with U.S. Proxies Near Al-Tanf

Syraq SITREP 59: SAA and Iraqi PMU Get Hit by Israeli Strike Near Abu Kamal, Syrians Clash with U.S. Proxies Near Al-Tanf

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched Operation Basalt this week. The liberation of southern Syria’s Da’ara and Quneitra provinces is going forward despite U.S. threats and Israeli attempts to slow it. Israel hit pro-Damascus forces and Iraqi Shi’a allies in the border town of al Hari in Deir Ezzor province. The Israeli suspected drone strike carried out Sunday night, initially blamed by Syrian media on the Americans (likely because IAF jets were once again detected by the Russians squawking on IFF/radar as American F15Es rather than IAF F15Is) struck the meeting near the Euphrates River city of Abu Kamal, killing scores of SAA and PMU fighters from Iraq.

Undaunted by Israeli aggression against a nominal US ally, the Iraqi PMU have bolstered their support for the SAA this week. Officers of the Iranian-backed militia are reportedly joining Syrian government forces assault on the jihadists in Quneitra this weekend. SAA T55, T72 and modern T90 battle tanks were transported by flatbed trucks to southern Syria, with artillery and Russian-supplied Urugan and Smerch rocket fire pounding jihadi positions, cutting militants off from the rest of the Da’ara pocket.

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Syraq SITREP 56: Russian Casualties from ISIS Attack, Israel-Iran Negotiations Via Jordan

Syraq SITREP 56: Russian Casualties from ISIS Attack, Israel-Iran Negotiations Via Jordan

At least four Russian military advisers are dead and several wounded after an ISIS attack on a Syrian Arab Army position in a government controlled part of Deir Ez Zor province. RT.com reports the Russian Defense Ministry said 43 Daesh terrorists and six vehicles used by the attackers were destroyed. Additional details about the attack were not provided, but the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (one guy living over a shop in Coventry, UK) claimed that nine Russian soldiers died in the hour long firefight.

Prior to the fight this weekend, the SAA had been moving troops freed up from the defeat of jihadist pockets around Damascus to clean out the remaining ISIS remnants in the Homs desert. ISIS may have received reinforcements of its own from several hundred militants who escaped before the south and east Damascus encirclement. The likely response of the Russian forces will be more air strikes guided by spetsnaz units to hunt down the remaining terrorists. We can likely expect to see more Iraqi Air Force strikes on Daesh units in territory nominally controlled by the Americans as part of their temporary demarcation along the Euphrates agreement with the Russians. Moscow’s Defense Ministry is also likely to reproach the Americans for not doing enough against the common ISIS terrorist enemy, who noticeably leaves U.S. and French bases in the Kurdish dominated areas alone.

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Syraq SITREP 19: #RussianNavy Launches More #Kalibr Cruise Missiles at #ISIS

Syraq SITREP 19: #RussianNavy Launches More #Kalibr Cruise Missiles at #ISIS

One week after a U.S. Navy F/18E shot down a Syrian Air Force SU-22 bomber, leading Moscow to declare that American-led Coalition aircraft could be tracked as hostiles via air or surface to air missile radars, the Russians struck Islamic State terrorists with a barrage of Kalibr missiles. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, six low flying cruise missiles were fired from the Admiral Essen and Admiral Grigorovich frigates in the eastern Mediterranean. The missile strikes came one day after rumors circulated online that a U.S. RQ4 Global Hawk long range drone, which was reported crashed in northern California, was actually shot down over the Mediterranean by Russian air defense systems based in the Latakia coastal region of Syria.

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