Monday, January 23, 2017

The Battle for Deir Ezzor, Syria

The Battle for Deir Ezzor, Syria

by Stephen Lendman

With peace talks underway in Astana, Kazakhstan, excluding UN-designated terrorists groups, the battle for Deir Ezzor rages.

Government and allied ground forces, greatly aided by Russian air power, are battling to defeat thousands of heavily foreign-armed ISIS terrorists - mostly fighters the Obama administration helped relocate from Mosul, Iraq to Syria.

The province in eastern Syria, Deir Ezzor city centrally located, borders Iraq, movement back and forth relatively unimpeded.

Two days after an earlier strike, Tass reported Russian long-range strategic bombers “delivered a massive strike against control posts, ammunition and arms depots of militants of the Islamic State terrorist organization” in areas around Deir Ezzor city.

All designated targets were destroyed. Sukhoi Sy-30SM and Su-35S fighter aircraft were involved with Russia’s strategic bombers on the mission. All aircraft returned safely after completing it, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry.

Russia’s General Staff Main Operations chief General Sergei Rudskoi said government forces are outnumbered by heavily armed ISIS fighters. He fears mass slaughter of civilians if they seize control of Deir Ezzor city.

The battle began in mid-January. It’ll likely continue for some time. Russia’s aim is to degrade the ability of ISIS terrorists to fight by destroying their weapons, ammunition dumps, supply depots, along with their ability replenish their ranks and rearm, the same strategy used to liberate Aleppo.

According to South Front, over the weekend, Syrian forces “retook the strategic Harabesh Mountain in the city of Deir Ezzor, besieging ISIS units in the workers housing area and in Jiraya which allow controlling the road to the Deir Ezzor Airport.” 

“If the army seizes control over Jabal (mountain) al-Amal, it will have a fire control over the whole supply line. This could become a turning point in repelling the ongoing ISIS offensive operation inside the city.”

“Separately, the army repelled an ISIS attack on the Panorama Roundabout, inflicting major casualties to the terrorist group. Abu Yousef, a top member of ISIS, was reportedly killed during the clashes. The total number of ISIS casualties during the operation in Deir Ezzor is over 600 killed and wounded.”

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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