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The Sieges of Aleppo and Mosul with Later Coverage of the Battle at Raqqa

syria iraq qassem suleimani isis daesh muslim brotherhood nusrah jihadis aleppo mosul raqqa popular mobilization forces hezbollah quds force udhr

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#31 mmoghand

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 02:08 PM

Reports from Aleppo yesterday had a large-scale invasion force coming in on the eastern side of the city.

 

Jabal Badro went over to the central government side even before Syrian Army troops could take advantage of the situation. Expectations run to the whole of the city border area going over to the government this week.

 

Locals live with the "rebels" the way Palestinians live with HAMAS.

 

No one from Syria puts religious sect at a high priority. Even among Sunni Syrians, the differences in practices range widely. More than not they are secular Ottoman-pattern people, typical Mediterranean Arabs with high literacy and sensible approaches to tolerance. Syrians do not approve of religious government, ever. They haven't had religious governments in 500 years and more.

 

The Sa'ud clan and the Wahhab clan are the sectarians. They kill over it. They finance crazies in a dozen countries.


Edited by mmoghand, 28 November 2016 - 02:09 PM.


#32 aus

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 07:42 PM

It is very sad that the reels will soon lose Aleppo. It may be true that could never win but why did the allies give them hope.  This is the problem of the West in the Middle East. It gives initial support to so many movements only to abandon them in the end.

It may be true that the rebels may not have been too religious and will learn to live under Assad . But is unlikely lea to a lasting peace.



#33 mmoghand

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 10:23 AM

It is very sad that the rebels will soon lose Aleppo. It may be true that could never win but why did the allies give them hope.  This is the problem of the West in the Middle East. It gives initial support to so many movements only to abandon them in the end.

It may be true that the rebels may not have been too religious and will learn to live under Assad . But is unlikely lea to a lasting peace.

 

What do you mean by "rebels" ??? Is this imagining that the war in western Syria resembles the Spanish Civil War ? Or maybe the fight against the Empire in Star Wars?

 

In Aleppo what we are seeing is a war between Muslim Brotherhood in Syria and the Syrian government. Local militias amount to volunteer police units, if you need an analogy.  They have been coerced to work with Brotherhood. But as soon as Brotherhood is eradicated from their neighborhoods, they go back to their traditional role within days.

 

As to Brotherhood, this is now a Jihadist operation with material support out of Turkey and the Sa'ud clan and other GCC Salafist regimes. They are religion-driven as opposed to the Ba'athist secular tradition that has governed Syria back to the Ottomans.

 

Locals do not support Brotherhood any more than they are forced to. That is why 40% to 50% of "rebel territory" went over to the Syrian government this past week. One can hope that a similar decline to support will come to HAMAS in Gaza, similar to Brotherhood decline in Egypt which resembles a collapse as much as anything. .


Edited by mmoghand, 01 December 2016 - 10:23 AM.


#34 aus

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 06:48 PM

Rebels include many groups . Not just the Brotherhood who ha little Western support. It is true people change sides quickly particularly when facing defeat. But in the end people are being kill . Surely  more humane settlement of  the war is possible.?



#35 mmoghand

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 12:14 PM

Aljazeera offers an updated map for the Battle of Mosul as of the start of December 2016.

 

Text states fear that civilians in Mosul are out of drinkable water. Iraqi Army is moving slowly, perhaps too slowly. Their own casualties are priority one.

 

518c861fa8ca4f69a4e4ef702b1220aa_6.jpg

 

Tal Afar has changed hands repeatedly. We have Kurdish forces' photos from Tal Afar two months ago. Figure the yellow area more likely includes Tal Afar today.

 

Iraqi forces move through the eastern side of Mosul. When Kurds take an area they keep it. They're expecting to negotiate boundaries for their Kurdistan state, so the more they hold, the better.

 

That little map of Iraq at upper-right is fanciful. Iraq's government controls the whole of the southern part of the country, for one example, down to the border with KSA.



#36 mmoghand

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 06:47 PM

We have the spectacle of ISIS's news services bragging about Mosul that they have sent 157 driver-bombers (a.k.a., vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices) at Iraqi troops.

 

Of course there is no way to check this. The Middle East weighs in a skosh lighter for mental illness. ISIS exploits the mentally disturbed and the insane. Nothing new.

 

ISIS and the crazies at Breitbart and its web sites have to be cousins. Lying is what they've got for a reality.

 

Meanwhile at Aleppo the locals are streaming out ASAP. Random missile firings land on west and northern Aleppo from the jihadis -- civilian killings for no damn reason.

 

Aleppo looks to be near an end. Some time January or early February. Mosul looks to be on a line for March to early May -- with catastrophic civilian total extra deaths.



#37 mmoghand

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 09:52 AM

Mosul will fall soon. It is hope that there will be few civilian deaths. But given the nature of the battles this seems unlikely. Then after the fall the real battle between sunnies and shites will begin.


That statement reflects what we were hearing a couple months ago when the Iraqi Army and American Air Force started their push into southern and western Mosul with a similar push by the Kurds coming from the east and the north.

Similarly, we were hearing the old NeoCon line that Arabs are mad dogs, ready at every sunrise to go out and murder each other over religious sect -- Sunni vs. Shia. Which is nonsense. This has been Israeli propaganda since the 1940s. Their aim is to confuse their targets as to what is meant by "Sunni" and to deny the centuries long peacefulness of the peoples who lived in the Ottoman Empire.

The murderous folk in the mix are the Sa'ud clan's Wahhabi and their Salafi offshoot from Islam. This Salafi sub-sect was invented in the early 18th Century with a wholly original claim to represent 7th Century Islam in the time of The Prophet. These Salafi have also flooded the planet with altered translations from the Old Arabic original Quran, including added words and usages that would have been impossible for the 7th Century. Their versions of the Haddith stories are worse. Thankfully, apart from DAESH, there are no Salafi in northern Iraq.

The Salafi have encouraged repressive and at times genocidal policies aimed at the regional minorities since back around WW I. They had taken to living off oil revenues in the latter decades of the 19th Century. Too much time on their hands, too little real work among the upper class.

Do not overestimate Salafi influence outside of Arabia. They are now identified with DEASH, with bin Laden and al Qaeda, with suicide-murders generally. They can hire criminals and cause trouble in Third World countries, but that's about it.

Mosul ??? A dozen different sects shared the city for centuries and did so with no pogroms, no secular violence to speak of since the 15th/16th Centuries. Why would anyone fight over religion? When you had big wars between whole countries things would line up that way, but not inside one city or between neighborhoods. The Ottomans were able to infuse tolerance all across the Middle East, excepting the crazies in Arabia.

For Syrians, Iraqis, and the Persians what they have seen with DAESH -- the suicide-murders and raping young women and murdering prisoners by the hundreds -- these last few years since about 2013 have proved that the Salafi cannot be trusted. The Salafi quote Mohammad. Then their armed supporters act like hungry predators.

The notion that there will be "the real battle between (Sunnis) and (Shia)" is a false cartoon. In practice the Sunni and Shia sects are differentiated mostly by a handful of religious holidays. Both have adopted Sufi poetry and all sorts of music and they watch "Arab Idol" as favorite television. The Salafi have none of it. DAESH is a dead end.


Edited by mmoghand, 08 December 2016 - 10:02 AM.


#38 mmoghand

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 10:21 AM

Unlike Mosul where everything is bogged down -- our television spew claiming this is "American-led" -- the Syrian surge into Aleppo has taken 70% of the city in just under 3 weeks. That result would seem to minimize the overall civilian killings.

 

The big change for Aleppo is that the tribes to the west of Aleppo are now operating autonomously. That deal is similar to the deal the Kurds have. Syria was always a mix of national government and the local governments that took care of what cities do all over the world. Assad and his people can fairly be said to be in the final days of winning the war in western Syria.

 

sl2Do9T.jpg

 

As we have seen earlier the "rebel" force is manned by foreigners. Ideology derives from the Salafi. Support comes from the Sa'ud clan and other GCC regimes. Very few Syrians participate.

 

The Syrian government also has foreign assistance but this comes in organized units. Iraq and the Lebanese Army and Hezbollah (Hizb Allah) are the larger units. Iranian IRGC and Quds Force participate, as well as the largely Sunni Palestinians who have their own Quds Force for volunteers out of the old refugee camps and elsewhere.

 

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Back three years ago Israel couldn't resist launching helicopter attacks on Iranian Quds Force officers going to Syrian and Palestinian areas for recruiting operations. Killed some people. Thing is, every time you kill somebody in the Middle East there are consequences. There, with the helicopter attacks, it is no understatement to say that the local differences among Arab tribes, sects, and Druze lost their main influence over events. Rivalries that had endured a century and more were put aside.

 

Bibi's chops produced unity of purpose among Syria's Arabs. Seeing the many thousands of Chechens and North Africans flood into Syria helped that along.

 

Qassem Suleimani (Soleimani) put together training programs in 2012-2014 that developed a competent officer corps using a standard military language. That is critical. These men are quite capable of working together efficiently. At Aleppo mixed units operate with mixed officer teams with no observed loss of operational effectiveness. Contrast this with Mosul where there is no physical central command for the various attack groups. Iraqi Army, Popular Mobilization, and Kurds coordinate for orders of the day -- not a helluva lot more.

 

For example, what do you need to suppress the suicide car-bombers ??? For greatest efficiency the answer to that goes to putting cannon-mounted M113s and the newer MRAPs up front for advances on DAESH positions. The people running this show have aerial photos and drones in the air -- all you need to assign howitzers to positions where they maximize firing lines.

 

Still, the Baghdad government has left thousands of M113s and MRAPs sitting down south. Where most of them haven't seen combat use in more than a year. Baghdad could supply each of its checkpoints with three cannons, plus moving a thousand more cannon platforms north for the Battle of Mosul. It's a two day drive. The heavy duty hauling trucks that can move these APCs up there in one day are sitting in lots south of Mosul. Doing nothing.

 

Could Qassem Suleimani fix that ??? Sure, but he'd have to be running the show first. Iraqi Army structures run to silos and political awareness. Getting resources up from the south is not what they do.



#39 aus

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 07:24 PM

Baghdah may had won this battle but can it stand and hold on to Alepo if Turkey or others intervened?



#40 mmoghand

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 09:58 PM

The Guardian faithfully relates what appears as Washington's Party Line:

 

Neither Moscow nor Tehran have the money or inclination for mass reconstruction projects, which, in any case will struggle against ongoing violence. Syria’s economy lies in ruins, as well as large parts of its cities. Poverty, instability, the disintegration of the state and emergence of warlordism, the defeat of moderate rebels, the long-term presence of Iranian-organised Shia militias – especially where that leads to the displacement of Sunni communities – and the sheer hatred engendered by this savage war are all likely to fuel extremism. Even as Isis faces increasing military pressure, it, and other jihadi groups, will be able to offer a potent message that it stands for Sunni communities who cannot rely on the west or Sunni states such as Saudi Arabia, whatever promises are made. The potential repercussions across an unstable region are obvious,.... They will be felt in Europe, already concerned for its security and anxious to halt the flow of refugees. But the greatest tragedy of Aleppo is that the suffering of Syrians will be no closer to an end when fighting finally stops there.

 

 

You can tell this originated in Washington by the phrase "moderate rebels." Check the chart for Nationalities of Foreign Mercenaries above for what is happening. Syria will resemble Germany after WW II and without the Nazis and SS and the sort.

 

Jihadi efforts to present themselves as mainstream Sunnis are falling flat, even inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They're the criminals and psychopaths.

 

When Aleppo falls the whole of the north-west of Syria can go back to normal time. Refugees are already arranging water and power to facilitate recovery.

 

You will see raiding parties out of the DAESH / ISIS region. A hundred raiders at a time is doable. These are suicide missions.



#41 mmoghand

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 06:54 PM

The Battle of Aleppo 2012-2016 has ended. Government and allied forces control the city.

 

Two convoys of trucks rolled into Old City midday. Survivors there need food and water. Temperatures range from 40s to 50s with intermittent rain.

 

At last the Jihadi groups are no longer in a position to shoot fleeing residents. There are also empty and half-empty residences available in the western and northern sides of Aleppo where survivors can find shelter.

 

Aleppo was a cultural capital for Arabs, greatly envied by KSA and the other GCC states. A place for many voices.

 

Sure taught them a lesson..........



#42 mmoghand

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 08:07 AM

Russia Today has an interview with Bashar Assad. He doesn't relate the pattern of surround-and-annihilate, but it's clear he knows that killing the foreign mercs is what's happening at Aleppo.

 

RT: Palmyra is another troubled region now, and it’s now [being] taken by ISIS, but we don’t hear a lot of condemnation about it.

 

President Assad: Exactly, because if it was captured by the government they would be worrying about the heritage. If we liberate Aleppo from the terrorists, the western officials and the mainstream media, they are going to be worrying about the civilians. They do not worry when the opposite happens, when the terrorists are killing those civilians or attacking Palmyra and destroying the human heritage, not only the Syrian heritage.



'Service to mankind' - former US ambassador on Russian & Syrian actions in #Palmyrahttps://t.co/JbJjdK6vxtpic.twitter.com/MovcWaO3zI

— RT (@RT_com) December 12, 2016

[The Palmyra offensive of] ISIS, if you look at the timing of their attack is related to what is happening in Aleppo. This is the response to what is happening in Aleppo – the advancement of the Syrian Arab Army – and they wanted to undermine the victory in Aleppo and at the same time to distract the Syrian Army from Aleppo to make it more toward Palmyra and stop the advancement. But, of course, it did not work.

 

RT: Western countries have been repeatedly asking Russia and Iran to put pressure on you to, as they put it, stop the violence. Just recently, six western nations asked Russia and Iran again to put pressure on you, asking for a ceasefire in Aleppo. At the time when your army was progressing, they were asking for a ceasefire.

 

Assad: It’s always important in politics to read between the lines, not to be literal. It doesn’t matter what they ask. The translation of their statement is for Russia [to] “please, stop the advancement of the Syrian Army against the terrorists.” That is the meaning of their statement, forget about the rest: “You went too far in defeating the terrorists, that shouldn’t happen. You should tell the Syrians to stop this. We have to keep the terrorists and to save them.”

 

Americans have advised Iraq to push the Jihadis / terrorists here and there since at least 2007. "Push them out" gets repeated over and over.

 

Qassem Suleimani has never said anything like that. Pushing terrorists around accomplishes nothing and he is nobody's fool. If anything seeing survivors from earlier battles make the other terrorists in a group bolder. 

 

http://i.imgur.com/fglA6es.jpg

 

fglA6es.jpg

 

One obvious fact, here, is that the Syrians in Aleppo gave the Jihadis no support. The Jihadis reacted badly, executing civilians by the score. People who ran were gunned down by the crowd in several places. (Blame that on Assad? Well of course.)

 

They're psychopaths. That's what they do. So now it is time the Jihadis die.

 

Expect no prisoners. Same as for the Jihadis, this is the end for their Saudi preachers. The siege force can do what they want. The imagery from drones make the fight a walk over. Old City is a safe area today and that normality will go to the whole of eastern Aleppo in a couple weeks. A normal smell, maybe not. Bodies are going to rot for at least a year, maybe two or three.

 

Rebuilding ??? The government needs rock crushing facilities to process rubble, sources for shiploads of rebar, and heavy equipment. Hopefully new construction will be designed to take earthquake, not go cheap like Haiti. That would be a mistake. When Syria does get hit with earthquake, it can be powerful. As of today 3/4 of Aleppo is in good shape. They can build out from there.

 

Palmyra had been left undefended so DAESH took advantage and moved in. What this accomplishes is unclear. These DAESH fighters cannot be resupplied. They are hundreds of miles from the closest front line in the war. As a guess they will be surrounded, then annihilated. That's the formula for taking out Jihadi terrorists.



#43 aus

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 07:15 PM

You might be happy that the Syrian government has won. To me it is a sad day. The rebels were promise support by various American government, But in the end were let down, It is no good us blaming Russian and Asaad if we do this.  Your statement that pushing terrorists as you called the rebels does no good  is true .American advise to push the jihads achieves nothing. But taking no prisoners will make sure they will become more extreme and the killing will continue.



#44 mmoghand

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 09:40 PM

.... It is no good us blaming Russian and Asaad if we do this.  Your statement that pushing terrorists as you called the rebels does no good  is true .American advise to push the jihads achieves nothing. But taking no prisoners will make sure they will become more extreme and the killing will continue.

 

The dead are passive. This war is over. The tribes in and around Idbil city have swapped sides. As you can see with the 9,500 civilians evacuated from Aleppo to Idlib there are no more than a hundred who are Syrian and also support the so-called "rebels."

 

A few young hot heads, eager to please their "rebel" commanders.

 

Overwhelmingly, Syrians blame this war on the Jihadis of all stripes who took advantage of a great drought to bring on open war and 300,000 deaths -- for no purpose beyond Jihadi fantasy.

 

Meanwhile Mosul is in deep trouble. Food and water are reaching the end. DAESH is useless. Murderous, most days. Iraqi Army reports progress by the inches. Their training fails to get them ready to press as required to break the enemy. Too many Americans, maybe ???



#45 mmoghand

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 01:08 PM

Recently in mid-December we started seeing articles and press releases that make note of civilian distress in Mosul. NPR has a claim that there are still 700,000 civilians still inside city limits.

 

During the Aleppo siege there were four gates open for escape all through the main last days fighting. But here's what's happening at Mosul:

 

"So while there might be a trickle of people who manage to get through that, there's really no corridor that's left for people to go through. And that's because the Iraqis and the Americans have made the decision that if you leave a corridor for civilians to get through, that means that ISIS fighters can also retreat. And they fear they will be fighting this war against ISIS forever if that happens."

 

Half a loaf.... They've accepted that the alternative to perpetual war is annihilating the Jihadis. But they haven't adopted the practical approach to civilian escape, where streams of refugees are processed and the younger males are segregated for in-depth interviews.

 

Human rights Watch and al-Jazeera report from coalition press releases that several dozen civilians are killed by the week. That seems an unlikely figure. DAESH kills more than that with its sweeps through the neighborhoods. Thing is, the longer this siege and invasion go on the more civilians will be killed -- as a guess from scale and intensity that could run closer to 200 a week.

 

Aleppo was reported to have 200,000 to 300,000 civilians a couple months back. As a minimum. But at the end there were more like 10,000 going out as refugees and maybe another 20,000 who filtered into the western neighborhoods and are staying with friends and family.

 

You have to work at it. Getting hundreds of thousands of people out of Mosul is possible using the approaches the proved out in Aleppo. You gotta do it. Doesn't sound like that's what is happening. There are nowhere near enough people coming in to the refugee areas to call this a success.





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