Mon Oct 1st, 2018 at 07:46:09 PM EST
The United States of America protecting an enclave of the Islamic State in the Euphrates Velley to fight another battle against the Syrian Army, Russians and the Iranians or their proxies.
Yesterday Iran retaliated with a barrage of six ballistic missiles fired from western Iran ...
Iran fires missiles into Syria in retaliation for military parade attack | France24 - today |
Iran launched a missile attack into eastern Syria targeting militants it blamed for a recent attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz, the country's Revolutionary Guards revealed Monday.
"The headquarters of those responsible for the terrorist crime in Ahvaz was attacked a few minutes ago east of the Euphrates by several ballistic missiles fired by the aerospace branch of the Guardians of the Revolution," said a statement posted on the official website of the Revolutionary Guards.
Continued below the fold ...
State television and the state-run IRNA news agency said the attacks "killed and wounded" militants in Syria, without elaborating. Syrian state media did not immediately acknowledge the strike.
State TV aired footage of one of its reporters standing by as one of the missiles launched, identifying the area as being in Iran's western province of Kermanshah. A state TV-aired graphic suggested the missiles flew over central Iraq near the city of Tikrit before landing near the city of Abu Kamal, in the far southeast of Syria.
Abu Kamal is held by forces loyal to Syria's embattled President Bashar Assad. However, the city has been targeted even now by militants from the extremist Islamic State (IS) group, who have lost almost all the territory they once held in Syria and Iraq.
○ Iran Successfully Employed At Least Seven Combat UAVs To Pound ISIS Positions In Syria Following Ballistic Missile Strike
ISIS Morphs from US's Deadly Enemy to Useful Weapon to Perfect Target | MintPress - Feb. 21, 2018 |
EUPHRATES RIVER VALLEY, SYRIA (Analysis) -- While President Trump has recently hailed the defeat of ISIS [NYT], the group has been able to stave-off a complete defeat by retreating to a few, small remaining pockets in Syria.
One of these pockets, located east of the Euphrates along Syria's border with Iraq, is surrounded by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a grouping of Kurdish militias that are trained and armed by the U.S., and who act as the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition's leading partner in the fight against ISIS. And while the SDF and the coalition engage in battle with ISIS further south near Abu-Kamal, that is not the case in this pocket to the north. The fighters operating within this area do not have to fear coalition attacks or SDF assaults. Instead, they have been free to conduct their activities unimpeded, despite being surrounded by U.S. allies on the ground and U.S. aircraft overhead.
This is because the coalition has left this ISIS contingent alone -- for months -- as virtually no airstrikes have been carried out in the region since at least as far back as November of 2017. The few airstrikes that have been conducted since then, few enough to count on one hand, have not targeted ISIS fighters - save one.
This is the curious situation on the ground, which, despite a telling lack of reporting, has been maintained for months now. After the U.S.-backed SDF had encircled one of the last remaining pockets of ISIS fighters, the U.S. at the same time announced to Syria and its allies that it would prevent the Syrian Army from crossing into the U.S.' self-declared "zone-of-control." While actively blocking the Syrian Army - which was fighting ISIS on multiple fronts - from reaching this swath of territory, the coalition themselves have refused to attack it -- for months. The picture that then emerges is one of an anti-ISIS coalition - one that has routinely expressed steadfast commitment to "annihilate" [NYT] and "bring a lasting defeat" to ISIS - which has instead been effectively safeguarding one of the last ISIS strongholds still standing, as well as the ISIS fighters within it.
According to the official Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) reports, there have been virtually no strikes within this area, a stretch of land located between the city of al-Shaddadi and the Iraqi border, for the past few months.
Iran, Syria left in awkward situation as 'enemy' attackers unknown | Ynet News - Apr. 30, 2018 |
Analysis: Sunday night's strikes against Assad army bases was likely part of a joint initiative launched from Syrian territory between Syrian rebels and other military forces armed with highly accurate missiles and rockets, making it difficult for Syria and Iran to hold Israel or the US accountable.
Who was behind Sunday night's attack on several Assad army bases in Syria? As the clouds of smoke dissipate from the areas struck by missiles, it seems quite likely that whoever attacked the bases used by Syrian and Iranian-backed forces may have been trying to send a message.
According to that message, which was directed at both the Syrian regime and the Russians, as long as the Iranians military presence in Syria continues, a political agreement will remain impossible and the seven-year civil war won't come to an end.
The Syrian army has been launching attacks from these bases, together with Shiite militia from Iraq and Pakistan and Hezbollah forces, against the main center of Syrian rebels in the Idlib district, which is located between the two Syrian army centers that were attacked. All groups opposing the regime operate from this district.
The Syrians have said recently that they plan to launch an attack near the city of Homs, southeast of Hama, to destroy the rebel centers there, just like they did in the eastern Ghouta area near Damascus.
We also know that the Syrian bases that were attacked Sunday night aren't far from an enclave which is mostly controlled by Kurdish forces, in northeast Syria, east of the Euphrates River. These forces operate under the guidance and direction of American advisors and carry out their orders. The enclave, which is about a quarter of Syrian territory, is basically under US military control. It borders the Al-Qa'im area in Iraq and the Syrian city of Qamishli on the border with Turkey.
Furthermore, the Americans have a large base in the Al-Tanf area in Syria, near with borders with Jordan and Iraq. From this base, the Americans conduct joint activities with their Kurdish allies as well as with other rebels towards the area of Palmyra, in a bid to prevent the Iranian-backed militias from taking over the area and creating a land corridor between Tehran and Damascus. Activities are launched from this area towards a different border crossing as well, between Iraq and Syria, near the city of Abu Kamal.
Like in two previous cases in the past month, according to Arab media reports, the bases were attacked with precision-guided surface-to-surface rockets and missiles armed with bunker-busting warheads. These kinds of missiles and rockets are used by the US Army and are produced by the Israeli military industries--Rafael, Israel Aerospace Industries and Israeli Military Industries.
One of these missiles, LORA (Long Range Attack), is a heavy missile with a range of more than 300 kilometers. Its warhead, which weighs hundreds of kilograms, is highly accurate. Another missile, called EXTRA (Extended Range Artillery), has a range of 150 kilometers.
Some of the Syrian reports claimed the missiles that hit Syrian targets on Sunday night were fired from Jordanian territory. This information is likely false, as Jordan is an Arab country that wouldn't risk a direct attack on the Syrian army from its territory for fear of retaliation. It's possible, however, that the missiles were launched from the Syrian territory in the Jordanian border area, by the rebels or by rebels cooperating with a different military force.
From my diary earlier this year ...
Trump Won't Let Go of Syria - Kills Scores of SAA
Keeping Daesh safe in enclave near Deir Ezzor, east of the Euphrates ...
"The Coalition remains committed to focusing on the defeat-Daesh [ISIS] mission in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and asserts its non-negotiable right to act in self-defense."
CENTCOM said in its official statement.
○ Breaking: US-led Coalition Conducts Strikes Against Syrian Army In Deir Ezzor
Killing up to one hundred soldiers of the SAA.
My recent diary ...
○ Iran: Terror Strikes IRGC Forces In Parade