International Military Review – Syria-Iraq battlespace, Dec. 24, 2015


…from SouthFront

Over the past six days, Russian warplanes have conducted 302 sorties and hit 1,093 terrorist targets in the provinces of Idlib, Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor, Hama and Homs. Russian Su-34 bombers destroyed a large terrorist training camp in the Syrian province of Idlib hosting fighters from Turkey and CIS states. Also, Russian warplanes have destroyed two oil storage facilities, three oil-extraction plants along with dozens of fuel pumps in the Deir ez-Zor province.

Moreover, six off-road vehicles equipped with heavy machine guns and three militants’ trucks were destroyed in the Homs province. And an Ahrar ash-Sham militant group’s command post was destroyed in the Aleppo province.

On Wednesday evening, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) took control of the farms north of the Marj Al-Sultan Military Airport after a heavy fight with Nusra and Jaysh Al-Islam and advanced north towards the town of Harasta in the East Ghouta. Currently, intense clashes are still going between the SAA and terrorists near the P-35 Radar Base.

In the Deir Ezzor province, ISIS launched a massive offensive that targeted the government-controlled districts of Al-Sina’a, Al-Rusafa and ‘Amal located along the vast Euphrates River. Initially, hundreds ISIS militants stormed the SAA defenses at the Al-Sina’a District’s eastern flank. After the heavy clashes, militants moved deeper into the district but found the SAA has fire superiority in combat. Thus, ISIS was pushed to retreat. According to the SAA reports, over 40 militants were killed. Separately, ISIS launched counter-attacks in Al-Rusafa, Al-‘Amal, and the Old Airport District.

Iraqi Security Forces, Kurdish Peshmerga, local Yazidi militia, supported by the Iraqi and US-led coalition air forces are fighting to regain control over the city of Ramadi from ISIS. According to the Iraqi government, the military captured parts of the city on Tuesday and are advancing toward the government complex in the central district of Ramadi. It’s confirmed that the Iraqi and coalition warplanes have been conducting airstrikes in neighborhoods around the complex.

The progress in recapturing Ramadi is slowed down by the decision to ban local Shia militias from fighting in the area. With this, the US and US-backed Iraqi officials are trying to prevent the grow of the militias’ influence in the country.

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