Over the last week the Syrian government troops invisible to all over the world have won two major victories strategically comparable with the return of Palmyra. The new configuration allows the front to call the next major goal of Damascus - is located in the center of the scandal chemical province of Idlib. But the reasons for joy does not end there.
It all began in the southwest - on the border with Lebanon. Huge by local standards territory, which form various jihadist held for several years, virtually without a fight, came under the control of Damascus. Most of the militants in agreement with the government forces and civilian authorities left the zone of Damascus to the Golan Heights and the Lebanese border and has traditionally been left for Idlib.
There were only two small settlements not far from the border, which so far failed to agree. These are the towns that had previously stubbornly maintained the siege for a long time and around which spun dance international organizations. But by and large south-western front virtually ceased to exist - in this direction danger remains only around the city of Deraa, and in a number of Circassian villages in the Golan Heights.
This operation has cost little or no shots, and therefore did not attract international attention. However, the operation in the northern province of Hama once again caused a wave of indignation at the media well-known principle "Assad bombing hospitals." And it was so.
Jihadist front with the support of a large city Al Latamina remained impenetrable for quite a long time. Several valleys in northern Hama Idlib open the way to bypass the mountain areas located in the western province of Latakia - and therefore particularly valuable. Two years ago, the very first attempt to organize a large-scale offensive, government forces have taken on this direction - and very unfortunate. The fighting in the relatively straight section of the front quickly turned into a slaughterhouse, and degenerated into a series of frontal attacks on both sides. Sometimes jihadists managed to not only "to straighten the corners," but also to win new lands.
Support Russian VKS finally done its job and the front in northern Hama became a so-called lip lataminsky - nearly isosceles triangle jihadist positions, wedged in the position of the CAA, and within which lies the town of Al-Latamina. This is almost a complete copy of debaltsevskogo projection, only bigger in size and with less side.
On Friday and Saturday the government troops in the brisk pace cut the most prominent part of the "lataminskogo projection" and by Monday came to Al-Latamine a distance 2-2,5 kilometers, ie, almost the distance mortar shells. Defense jihadists holding three years, collapsed instantly. However, the group "Dzhebhat en-Nusra" and "Tahrir al-Sham" still showed their organization, their commanders, to recognize the disaster and avoid a full circle, it became divert fighters from the front into the projection to the city. But if the government forces maintain the previous rate of advance, the question is only one - on what the new turn of the jihadists can gain a foothold.
Now they are experiencing a serious shortage of manpower, and forced to retreat in order to save at least available. Trying to gain a foothold in the Al-Lataminy lead to the creation of a new front that is forcing jihadists go to the static defense. But while the CAA has superiority in this sector of the front in all aspects - from the number of weapons to quality, so that the transition to the new front line only fills a new blow to the jihadists. In Idlib immediately formed a new division, but the potential reserves and "Al-Nusra" and "Tahrir al-Sham" in the month of April were ground, so that the chances of success with them a little bit.
In this scenario, all the so-called southern front jihadists and "moderate" may collapse at the wider portion, rather than on only one "lataminskom projection". For example, their position in the pop Christian town of Maan, who for two years was also a "bad tooth" of the war and several times passed from hand to hand. Under the threat turned out to be Morek defense, and all this is almost the southern outskirts of Idlib. In this area, the jihadists is hard to find a new "narrow" position, which could defend the forces that were in their possession. It is possible that such a position can be found in Helfayi, but, in any case, has finally created a real threat to the main stronghold of the jihadists - Idlib. That is, something happened, which is so much talked about and debated after the liberation of Aleppo - what to do with Idlib and whether it will be the main goal of the new offensive. It seems that he became. And it can not but rejoice.
At the same time the CAA continues to put pressure on the jihadi west of Aleppo, distracting on this site last enemy reserves. In March, they tried to compensate for the failure of groups in Aleppo and Palmyra attempt to counter-attack just to "lataminskom ledge", almost breaking through the defenses of government forces. But the consequence of this was the excessive tension forces and stretching the front strategically dangerous ledge only led to a deterioration in their situation. Government troops are accustomed to a tactical retreat and, after waiting a short regrouped - and literally crushed the enemy. Now the road to Idlib can be opened almost a few days. An active part in this offensive are taking videoconferencing and Russian, and Syrian Air Force.
Naturally, this has caused an emotional wave from Western opponents of Assad, whoever they were. Strategic defeat of the opposition is now visible to the naked eye, even if it does not look as bright as the liberation of Aleppo. Hence another "Assad bombing hospitals," although such objects there is simply no.
Already we can say that the government army managed to regain territory lost in this sector in the year 2016. Only preliminary estimates in this area is concentrated to 10 thousand militants that is unprecedented for a lot of this kind of field operations, defense in eastern Aleppo was conducted not in the steppe and desert, and urban environments. At the same time the offensive conducted mainly through the efforts of the two most combat-ready units of the Syrian army - 5-Corps actually created by Russian advisors, and "Tigers".
As compensation for the jihadis have attempted a counter-offensive in the Hula Valley in the province of Homs in the direction of the checkpoint Al-Kunnifiya. First - without success. But on Monday coming up government reserves regained the checkpoint and to restore the status quo, however, we were not able to fight off the captured equipment. In principle, this can be regarded as a tactical success of the jihadists, if viewed under a magnifying glass.
As for the situation at Palmyra, where terrorists have moved to the tactics of war sniper. In just one day, government forces lost by sniper fire five people on the heights north of Tadmor. Moreover, it seems that the LIH * prefers to throw on the front line of a small group of well-trained shooters, which operates just two or three hours and then go back into the desert. The front of it does not change, but it's annoying, but the government forces (as well as many other forces in the Middle East) are traditionally sensitive to psychological problems, which result in this kind of sniper attacks. Who is suggested igilovtsam and where they took these snipers - a new question for exploration.
I did not notice the world community and the rapid advance of government forces in the east of Palmyra in the direction of Deir ez-Zor, which ultimately caused the tactical attack igilovskih snipers on the flank position CAA. Freeing Palmyra elevator, power plant, the area of Wadi al-Ahmar, the mountain range of the same name Mustadira and gas-bearing fields, government forces have reached a fork in Talila. Prior to Deir ez-Zor left 160 kilometers, and from the beginning of the offensive on the airfield Tias Travel 70 kilometers. Some experts considered that happens at the beginning of the onset of Deir ez-Zor. This is possible, but it will mean a new spray and so few combat-ready forces.
In addition 5-Corps and the "Tigers", on the main lines as a free reserve forces can be expected to 18-Panzer Division, a brigade of "Al-Badia", the National Defense Force, parts of "Hezbollah" (which, however, are now carried away "arrangement" liberated from the jihadist areas on the Lebanese border), various volunteer units, joined by Bedouin tribes shaytat. For these inhabitants of the desert war with LIH around Deir ez-Zor - business vendetta.
Several years ago, for no apparent reason, jihadists the genocide shaytat tribe - like orthodox Sunnis, organizing mass executions of 700 men at a time. to 900 people - subsequently the mass graves of those killed, where a grave had been found. Most likely, the LIH just did not want to share with the freedom-loving Bedouins oil and gas area, but in the end they got furious "blood feuds".
About shaytat tribe went wildly rumors that they brew head igilovtsev killed in order to make a lunch soup Shurpa right at the forefront. He has an ally, but the militia leaders of shaytat on demand rather quickly accepted military discipline and were even entrusted responsible offensive operations. And one of the tribal warlords had already gone down in history - on the media dispersed photograph hoisting the flag on it captured from LIH fortified village.