Syrian War Report – August 8, 2018: Government Forces Attack Militants’ Supply Lines In Northern Hama

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The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies have been stricking miitant positions and supply lines in and near the villages of Lahaya and al-Latamina, which are located about 35km north of the city of Hama. According to pro-government sources, the Syrian military will further work on targeting militant supply lines in northern Hama and southern Idlib.

In eastern al-Suwayda, the SAA, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) and other pro-government factions repelled an ISIS attack, which was supported by suicide bombers. According to reports, at least 3 ISIS suicide bombers were killed in the encounter. There are no confirmed reports about casualties among pro-government forces.

On August 7, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced their intent to launch a military operation against the ISIS-held pocket of Hajin in the Euphrates Valley. According to the SDF, the previous phase of the operation, which took place in the border area, has finished successfully and preparations for the next phase are now ongoing.

On August 6, pro-Kurdish activists released a video showing 200 trucks with weapons, equipment and ammunition sent by the US-led coalition to the SDF in northern Syria. This shipment, aimed at further strengthening the SDF military capabilities, already caused a new round of criticism in Turkish media.

Russia is intensifying contacts with various Kurdish organizations amide the slow rapprochement between Damascus and Kurdish factions in Syria. On August 4, a delegation of the International Federation of Kurdish Communities met with Russian Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and African Countries and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the sides “discussed the pressing issues in the Middle East with an emphasis on the Kurdish issues in the context of developments in Iraq and Syria, including the need to consolidate international efforts in countering ISIS and other terrorist groups”.

Previously, negotiations between the SDF political wing – the Syrian Democratic Council – and the Syrian government had taken place in Damascus marking the improvement of the relations between the sides.

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  • Pave Way IV

    “…According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the sides “discussed the pressing issues in the Middle East with an emphasis on the Kurdish issues in the context of developments in Iraq and Syria…”

    Bogdanov to Kurds: “To start off, I think we both can agree that you can never trust the Americans…”
    Kurds: “…Except for supplying ammo and weapons – and Toyota HiLuxes. They’re good at that. A regular f’king tsunami coming across the border every day, for years and years. It’s still coming. You wanna buy some? We got warehouses and warehouses of stuff. Bulgarian, German, French, American… you name it. I’ll sell it to you wholesale – no middleman, no markup. The prices are crazy!”
    Bogdanov: “Nyet, inferior to Russian weapons. …but how much for a HiLux?”

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5f23daabb8618e5b52d6f0cb81d27dabcaeceb934df66d53f03ba5647df5a8ad.png

    • Ma_Laoshi

      Gotta love your sources! But seriously, this stuff is coming across *which* border? A while ago, people were confident that this American SDF protectorate would have extreme difficulty getting supplies in overland, or oil out. Iraqis once more letting Uncle Sam get away with shady business in their own country against the Iraqi interest?

      • Icarus Tanović

        What the heck Turks gonna say about this influx of ammo and weapons, as well as Toyota stuff?
        Kurds are great actors, no real army.

        • Pave Way IV

          Same thing they said about the huge convoy of 200 trucks carrying stuff (and more Toyotas) across the Semalka Crossing last month: they object and demand the U.S. stop arming and supplying the Kurds, ISIS, etc., etc.
          https://twitter.com/Rojavian/status/1019005372781268993

          • Icarus Tanović

            Good one, thanks. But I don’t see any heavy stuff loaded, say howitzer, etc.
            And Turks, trust me on this one ain’t gonna like this very much, sir.
            Several trucks trailers with concrete building blocks, and some Toyota stuff.
            Japanese gosta love this, as long as Saud pays for the trucks and Jeeps.

      • Pave Way IV

        That would be at the ‘Semalka Crossing’, just south/downstream of the Tigris from Faysh Khabur. Barzani (= the CIA/Mossad) constructed a pontoon bridge there in 2013 because they needed to move stuff without those pesky Syrian or Iraqi customs people bothering them at the official border crossing at Rabia, I guess. Now it’s part of the CIA/CENTCOM logistics superhighway from Erbil – (Mosul) – Duhok – Semalka Crossing – Qamishli. It’s really nowhere near the tiny village of Semalka. It’s conveniently located a few km away from the main Iraqi Strategic Pipeline pumping and metering station (before it goes to the Ceyhan pipeline in Turkey).

        Wikimapia at least shows some un-named ‘Pontoon Bridges’ at that spot, but scrubbed out the hundreds of vehicles, buildings and fenced compounds of equipment on both sides of the border. It almost looks deserted in their imagery:
        http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=37.089932&lon=42.351565&z=16&m=b

        Google Maps just scrubbed it out completely – nothing here to see, folks. Move along.
        https://www.google.com/maps/@37.0895059,42.3483789,1273m/data=!3m1!1e3

        Bing at least shows it in 2014 when Barzani unhooked one of the sections to ‘close’ his illegal crossing. Some sort of bribe or kickback dispute with either the CIA, CENTCOM or the Syrian Kurds.

        Make no mistake though – it’s a busy place:
        https://twitter.com/EuphratesPost/status/1025948443632644096

  • Rodney Loder

    SDF at best is a 5th. Column at worst an Assassan, talking with SDF is listening to Mad Dog Maddis bark in cryptic codes