Documentation: 44 foreign fighters killed fighting for the Regime in Syria

Documentation: 44 foreign fighters killed fighting for the Regime in Syria | archicivilians

As shown, most of the fighters (18) are Afghans from Fatimiyun Brigade, a militia that was formed by the Iranian IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps), that contains Shiite Afghan fighters who are living in Iran, and the same thing for the Shiite Pakistani fighters.

The top leaders in Fatimiyun Brigade were killed in the battles of Southern Syria, against Syrian Rebels:

  • Alireza Tavassoli (top leader of Fatimiyun Brigade)
  • Reza Bakhshy (top military leader of Fatimiyun Brigade)
  • Mehdi Sabery (military leader in Fatimiyun Brigade)

Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement, the small battalions who became the most powerful Rebellion group in Syria

Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement, the small battalions who became the most powerful Rebellion group in Syria | archicivilians

Ahrar al-Sham It was one of the first armed groups to be formed at the beginning of the armed revolution in Syria in early 2011. Ahrar al-Sham is a Sunni Islamic movement, formed by Hassan Aboud. Hassan Aboud was born in al-Ghab plain in the north west of Hamah province in northern Syria. He used to be an English teacher and an Islamic scholar before he was detained by the Syrian Baathism Regime. At the beginning of the Syrian revolution, Hassan was released from Saidnaya Prison in northern Damascus after the general presidential pardon for all crimes committed before June 20, 2011. Later, Ahrar al-Sham movement under Hassan Aboud has been rising as one of the most powerful armed groups, independent from the Free Syrian Army.

*Note: Most of the Syrian Rebellion groups (including Jaysh al-Islam factions, The Levantine Front factions and others) were all under the Free Syrian Army command.

Ahrar al-Sham participated in many battles in northern Syria since they have strong presence in Hamah and Idlib provinces. They used to be one of the most powerful groups in eastern Syria (Raqqah, Hasakah and Deir Ezzor provinces) before the rise of Daesh (Islamic State organization). Ahrar al-Sham movement has formed the Islamic Front with other Rebel groups including Jaysh al-Islam, Suqour al-Sham Brigades, Tawhid Brigade and other groups. Local activists who have very close relations with the Islamic Front Rebels said that it was a failed step, since there is no real unity between those groups who agreed to form the Islamic Front in November of 2013.

In September 2014, a bomb attack targeted Ahrar al-Sham top leaders while they were meeting in Ram Hamdan city in Idlib province, killing more than 40 leaders including Hassan Aboud, the head of Ahrar al-Sham. It was a historical event in the Syrian war, the majority said that Ahrar al-Sham movement is over and their fighters will end up joining the other Rebellion groups. Hashim al-Sheikh was chosen to be the head of Ahrar al-Sham after the death of Hassan Aboud, they announced that they will complete as they started and will reach their main goals as they seek for the liberation of Syria by fighting the Baathism Regime and Daesh (Islamic State organization) till the end.

At the end of 2014, Ahrar al-Sham led the battle of Hamidiyah military camp in participation with Nusra Front who led the battle of Wadi al-Dayf military camp, taking control of those two military camps (with all the villages in the area) which were known as the largest military camps in northern Syria.

In the December 2014, two major groups from the Islamic Front (al-Haqq Brigade and the Kurdish Islamic Front) announced to join Ahrar al-Sham movement. Suqour al-Sham Brigades also announced to join Ahrar al-Sham in March of 2015, yet Ahrar al-Sham has been one of the largest groups in Syria, with a size of more than 25,000 fighters.

It was a major change in March 2015 when Ahrar al-Sham with participation with other six groups (including Faylaq al-Sham and Nusra Front) formed Jaysh al-Fateh military operations room and were able to take the provincial capital of Idlib in less than 4 days, to be the second provincial capital out of Assad rule since the beginning of the war in Syria.

After 4 years of the war in Syria, Ahrar al-Sham proved to be rising as one of the most powerful groups in Syria, as they have strong presence in 10 out of 14 provinces in the country. Ahrar al-Sham owns large amount of military equipment (mostly seized from the military bases in Syria) and fighters. At the same time, Ahrar al-Sham has very good relations with all groups in Syria, as activists said that they are very welcomed by civilians to control the populated areas, mainly in northern Syria.

Is it possible to impose a No-fly-zone in NorthWest of Syria after the recent Rebels advances in the area?

Is it possible to impose a No-fly-zone in NorthWest of Syria after the recent Rebels advances in the area? | archicivilians

Recently, Turkey demanded a foreign support to impose a no-fly zone in Northern Syria, mainly in the North West of Syria near the Syrian/Turkish borders.

Other countries like US, UK and France have agreed on this, since it will give safe areas for the refugees and the civilians in Northern Syria, as the Syrian Regime still using Chemical weapons (toxic gases like Chlorine) in the recent attacks on the Rebel-held cities in Northern Syria.

It was quite hard to go for this move due to the heavy ongoing battles in the area and the (Syrian Regime and allies) rejection, since there are still Regime-held areas in the North West.

Currently, this move has been more possible to happen after the huge recent Rebel advances in December 2014 and early 2015 by preventing the Regime siege on Aleppo city, seizing two of the largest military camps in Northern Syria (Wadi al-Dayf and Hamidiyah military camps) and finally taking the provincial capital of Idlib, the Regime ended up by three areas in the North West of Syria (mainly where the no-fly-zone considered to take place).

Rebels still need to end the last Regime presence in the area:

  1. Nubbol and Zahraa towns in Northern Aleppo.
  2. Kafrayya and al-Fuah towns in Northern Idlib.
  3. The road between al-Mastumeh and Jisr ash-Shughur city in Idlib Province (including Ariha town and some villages).

The Syrian Coalition announced recently to take Idlib city as their headquarter in Syria, which will need to be secured under a safe zone to prevent the Regime barrel bombs and chemical weapons attacks. Therefore, it is more possible to see a no-fly-zone in North West of Syria very soon, and it mostly depend in the military changes as Rebels must show their ability to protect these areas from any Regime advances on the ground.

 

Overview on Military Situation in Damascus City – The Capital of Syria

The Military Situation in Damascus City – The Capital of Syria | archicivilians

Damascus City, the most important spot in Syria since it is the capital of the country. At the beginning of the armed revolution, Rebels started the military operation around the city and were able to take many areas in Eastern Ghouta, Western Ghouta and Wadi Barada Area in the north western outskirts of the city. In 2012, Rebels managed to take control of Barzeh, Tishreen, Qaboun and parts of Jobar in the eastern side of the city, and Darayya, Muddamiyat al-Sham and parts of Kafr Souseh in the western side of the city. After they secured their position in Qalamoun Mounts between Damascus and the Lebanese borders, Rebels advanced toward the city and took many areas in the northern outskirts of the city, including Wadi Barada area, al-Tall, Maneen and Ma’raba, getting closer to Qassion Mount and the presidential palace. In the summer of 2012, Rebels advanced rapidly to the southern districts of the city, controlling Hajar al-Aswad, al-Qadam, Yarmouk Camp, al-Tadamon, Babbila, Yalda, Beit Sahem, Daff al-Shouk and parts of Midan, Zahera and Sayyidah Zaynab.

Rebels realized that it is very important to focus on the military areas instead of the populated areas only, and the Regime troops may reach the besieged military bases at any moment and push Rebels backwards to resist any siege attempt on the Rebel-held populated areas. In the mid and late 2012, Rebels managed to besiege Damascus International Airport, the Armored Vehicle Base in Harasta and Brigade 39 in Adra area, and took control of Marj al-Sultan Airbase, Sayyidah Zaynab Airbase, Brigade 22, Regiment 81, Regiment 246 and Regiment 274 which was known as one of the largest Regiments in Syria. Rebels gained Russian 9K33 Osa (Surface-to-air missile) after controlling the Air-Defense Base in Eastern Ghouta.

During the Rebellion offensives on the city in 2012 and early 2013, the Regime was able to maintain the control of the supply lines. The Regime launched a strong offensive in the early of 2013, and was able to cut the Rebel supply lines to Western Damascus districts (Darayya and Muddamiyat al-Sham) by taking Judaydat al-Fadl, Judaydat Artouz and Artouz area in Western Ghouta. Another Regime offensive was launched in the early of 2013 on the areas around Damascus International Airport, the Regime broke the siege on the Airport and took control of Harran al-Awamid and Otaybah, and besieging al-Ghizlaniyah village near the Airport. It was a strategic advancement by the Regime after taking Otaybah area and the villages around it (Jarba, Bahariyah and Qasimiyah); Rebels lost their supply lines to Eastern Ghouta after they withdrew from the strategic areas of Otaybah and Adra (which were used by Rebels to connect Eastern Ghouta with Eastern RifDimashq Province.

The largest Regime offensive was led by Hezbollah and Iraqi militias Zul Faqqar Brigade and Abul Fadl al-Abbas Brigade, launched on Southern Damascus in the mid of 2013. The Regime was able to besiege Rebels in Southern Damascus districts after taking Sbeneh, Hussayniyah, Buwayda, Hujjeira, Aqrabah areas, and breaking the siege on Sayyidah Zaynab. After retaking many areas in and around the city, the Regime preferred to sign truce agreements with some Rebellion groups in the besieged areas in order to focus on the important front-lines like Jobar, Mleha, Darayya and Eastern Ghouta. Truce agreements were signed in Barzeh, Southern Damascus and in Wadi Barada area (mainly in al-Haameh and Qudsayya). Some truce agreements have ended after the Regime’s failed attempts to storm the areas, like Beit Sahem, Hajar al-Aswad, Qaboun and Harasta.

In late 2013 and early 2014, Rebels in Eastern Ghouta launched strong offensive in order to break the siege on the area. Two to three months of the ongoing battles; Rebels were able to retake Jarba, Qasimiyah, Bilaliyah, Bahariyah, Adra, and parts of Abbadeh, Qaysa and Deir Salman. The Regime launched an offensive on Mleha area near Jaramana, which is known as the western gate of Eastern Ghouta. After 135 days of the ongoing battle and heavy losses from both sides, the Regime was able to take Mleha, Hatitat al-Jarash and advance to the outskirts of Zabdin village. After they lost Mleha, Rebels launched a new military operation around Jaramana and they were able to control Dukhaniyah area for several weeks only, and retreated toward Ein Tarma Valley.

In the late of 2014, the Regime launched new military operations in Adra area, ended up by taking Adra Omaliya, Adra town, Tall Kurdi, Tall al-Sawwan and breaking the siege on Brigade 39. Nowadays, the most active front-lines in the city taking place in Darayya, Jobar, Harasta, Wafidin Camp near Douma and Tall Kurdi near Adra. Few clashes taking place in Southern Damascus (mainly in Yarmuk Camp and al-Tadamon) and in Wadi Barada area (mainly in Baseema).

 

The Rapid Changes in the Military Situation in [ Nawa – SheikhMaskin – Izzra’ ] Axis in Daraa Province, Southern Syria

The Rapid Changes in the Military Situation in [ Nawa – SheikhMaskin – Izzra’ ] Axis in Daraa Province, Southern Syria

After they realized that taking control the cities and villages without controlling the military areas around them would end up loosing the city and large number of civilians by the Regime’s air-force attacks, Syrian Rebels started a new strategy in 2014 in order to retake the cities and villages they lost it in 2012 and 2013.

In early 2014, Syrian Rebels launched heavy military operations in order to retake Nawa City (the 2nd largest city in Daraa Province) by taking control of Tall al-Jabiyah and Brigade 61 in it, then besieging the Regime in  Tall Jomou’ and taking control of SheikhSa’ad village and the artillery base in it, forced the Regime to stay resisting in the eastern side of the city until they retreated from the whole area in late 2014 after Rebels took control of their last supply route from SheikhMaskin City.

In late 2014, Rebels managed to break the siege on SheikhMaskin after the new Regime operations in the besieged city. Rebels were able to control most of the city and completed their control of it in January 25, 2015 after taking control of Brigade 82 and all the outskirts of SheikhMaskin City.

It was a big loss for the Syrian Regime by loosing both of Nawa and SheikhMaskin cities in Southern Syria, which gave the Regime the one choice only; to stay resisting in Izzra’ City in order to keep controlling the supply route between Damascus City (the capital) and Daraa City. Damascus/Daraa International Road (M5 Rd) is the last Regime supply route to Izzra’ and Daraa City, after loosing SheikhMaskin and the bases in the northern outskirts of the city, in addition to the villages on this road (Delli and Suhayliyah).

It would be the biggest trouble for the Regime troops if they will be not able to push Rebels and stop their advances toward Lajat area, after many Rebellion groups (mainly the Free Syrian Army) who announced several times that they will keep advancing until reaching their controlled territories in Lajat area, and this advance will not happen unless Rebels take control of Izzra’ City.

Rebels gained GTAM missiles after they took control of the Fire Battalion which is considered as part of Brigade 82 in SheikhMaskin. Activists in Syria said that the Regime in Syria has lost the most powerful Air-Defense bases in Southern Syria; Brigade 38 in 2013 and Brigade 82 in 2015.

At the end, the following map would show and describe the Rebellion success in three months only (from October 2014 to January 2015) in the most strategic area Daraa Province.