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Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Battle for Idlib & Hama finally begins: Syrians & Russians unleash, jihadis bombard Hama, Russian & Syrian airstrikes, Turks enter stage left
2018-09-09


Battle for Idlib begins as Syrian, Russian forces unleash massive attack

[AlMasdar] (2:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) battle for Idlib has begun after several weeks of speculation and military buildup.

According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian and Russian air forces unleashed a massive assault across the Hama-Idlib axis, hitting a number of sites controlled by the jihadist rebels.

The source added that the Syrian Arab Army has yet to storm any areas in the Idlib and Hama governorates; the ground attack is likely to commence in the next few days.

Jihadists respond to Syrian Army attack with major assault of their own in Idlib, Hama

[AlMasdar] (4:45 P.M.) – The jihadist rebels in the Idlib Governorate have launched a retaliatory attack against the government this afternoon, a military source in the army stronghold of Mhardeh told Al-Masdar News.

According to the military source, the jihadist rebels heavily bombarded the town of Salhab in northern Hama, causing several casualties in the process.

The source added that most of the casualties from this large attack on Salhab were civilians that were inside of their homes.

Earlier today, the Syrian Arab Army and their Russian allies began their long-awaited attack on the Idlib and Hama governorates.

Using their Air Force, the Syrian military unleashed a massive attack that targeted a number of jihadist areas in Hama and Idlib.

Syrian Army launches massive attack in northern Hama

[AlMasdar] The Syrian Arab Army unleashed a powerful assault inside the northern countryside of the Hama province tonight, a military source told Al-Masdar News.

According to the military source, Syrian Arab Army fired a plethora of missiles and artillery shells towards the jihadist rebels in the northern countryside of the Hama province.

Among the many targets for the Syrian Army were the towns of Kafr Zita, Zakat, Alayweh, and Al-Lataminah.

This attack by the Syrian military comes just shortly after the jihadist rebels fired several muscles towards the Syrian government stronghold of Mhardeh.

Syrian, Russian forces launch nonstop attack on Idlib

[AlMasdar] (12:00 A.M.) – The Russian and Syrian air forces have been hard at work, tonight, as their fighter pilots carry several airstrikes across the Hama-Idlib axis.

Led by their Sukhoi jets, the Syrian and Russian air forces initially began their aerial campaign on Saturday morning, when they repeatedly bombarded the jihadist rebels in both the Idlib and Hama provinces.

The Syrian and Russian air forces would not stop there; they would since launch over 70 airstrikes above several jihadist sites in northwest Syria.

According to a military communique from the Hama Governorate, the Russian and Syrian air forces launched over 100 airstrikes in the last 24 hours, hitting jihadist trenches, bases, and hideouts in the process.

Among the several sites targeted by the Syrian and Russian air forces were the towns of Khan Sheikhoun, Taman’ah, Sukeek, Kafr Zita, Al-Lataminah, Zakat, Alayweh, Ma’arat Al-Nu’man, Jisr Al-Shughour, Qal’at Al-Madiq, and Ma’arat Al-Nu’man.

The Syrian and Russian forces will likely continue their heavy bombardment throughout the night and early into tomorrow, as their ground troops make their final preparations before they launch their assault.

Massive Turkish Army convoy enters Idlib with large arsenal of weapons

[AlMasdar] (2:45 A.M.) – A massive Turkish military convoy entered the Idlib Governorate from the Hatay Province, tonight, opposition activists reported.

According to the Syrian opposition activists, the Turkish military convoy consisted of more than 300 vehicles, including tanks, MLRS launchers, and BMPs.

The Turkish military convoy reportedly entered Syria through the Kafr Losen Crossing; it was heading towards the rebel front-lines in the Idlib and Hama governorates.

Some opposition activists have claimed that the Turkish military was heading to the Idlib Governorate with manpads, which, if true, would mean that they are preparing to down any Syrian warplane flying over their positions.

Turkey appears to not be backing down from the Syrian government forces, despite the fact that the latter is backed by Ankara’s allies: Iran and Russia.
Posted by:trailing wife

#11  Damned If I Know which side to cheer on.

Just continuously arm up the losing side until the desired result is achieved.
Posted by: gorb   2018-09-09 17:42  

#10  "Huma"
Posted by: Frank G   2018-09-09 15:13  

#9  what is missing from the NYTimes quote is that the Islamic Extremists were the Muslim Brotherhood

by late 2009, the Obama administration was working hand in glove with the brotherhood and by 2012 the Muslim brotherhood was running Egypt
Posted by: lord garth   2018-09-09 14:33  

#8  .....I just stacked the Al Masdar articles on the subject together under one heading

But wait! Isn't that how Google got started?
Posted by: Black Charlie tse Tung4989   2018-09-09 13:37  

#7  Wasn’t Hama the home of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria back in Hafez Assad’s day? Whoever it was, Assad pére bounced the rubble when they got uppity back in 1982. Tom Friedman at the New York Times shortly after 9/11:

In February 1982 the secular Syrian government of President Hafez al-Assad faced a mortal threat from Islamic extremists, who sought to topple the Assad regime. How did it respond? President Assad identified the rebellion as emanating from Syria's fourth-largest city -- Hama -- and he literally leveled it, pounding the fundamentalist neighborhoods with artillery for days. Once the guns fell silent, he plowed up the rubble and bulldozed it flat, into vast parking lots. Amnesty International estimated that 10,000 to 25,000 Syrians, mostly civilians, were killed in the merciless crackdown. Syria has not had a Muslim extremist problem since

Woodrow, I’m glad you find this set-up useful. I just stacked the Al Masdar articles on the subject together under one heading — in as chronological order as I could so our readers would have a proper feel for the progress of events. Dr. Steve started us doing that during the reconquest of Iraq after ISIS exploded. All images came from Rantburg’s extensive collection.
Posted by: trailing wife   2018-09-09 13:26  

#6  #5 nails it.

As for rooting interest, Kissinger's remark on the Iran-Iraq War comes to mind here.

I think this will definitely speed up the process of Turkey's "alienation" from NATO, as we're not about to bail them out if things go badly for them.

The Turks themselves are no loss, but it'd be a shame to lose Anatolia.
Posted by: charger   2018-09-09 11:41  

#5  A prime tenet of muzz war philosophy is "There are no civilians." See Zawahiri right after 9/11...
Posted by: M. Murcek   2018-09-09 10:17  

#4  How many civilians are trapped in the battlezones? Hama (I think) has - was about 310.000. Idlib 110,000 or much less. Minding those numbers are pre civil war.

I think it was Bruce Stanley and Michael Dumper who wrote that some districts of the city are exclusively Christian. And there was one observation about Hamas supposedly being the most conservative Sunni Muslim city in Syria.

At least arse Assad didn't F with the Christians. Much to Barry's dismay.

Nice breakdown TW.
Posted by: Woodrow   2018-09-09 07:50  

#3  Nice composite, TW.

Thank you, Skidmark. Today will be another busy day over there, no doubt.

Cheer for a hot fight, g(r)omgoru. I was thinking of ordering a nice selection of hors d'oeuvres and a truckload of popcorn from Barbara Skolaut’s usual supplier. It’s been a while since we had a battle to watch. And Dave D. used to get the best prices for Yuengling beer...
Posted by: trailing wife   2018-09-09 05:39  

#2  Damned If I Know which side to cheer on.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru   2018-09-09 03:45  

#1  Nice composite, TW.
Posted by: Skidmark   2018-09-09 02:52  

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