three mysterious presences of the pindo boot-heel on the face of southern syria, of which omsk & tomsk are 2

Rebels say Pindostan evacuates base in southern Syrian desert
Suleiman Al-Khalidi, Reuters, Sep 19 2017

AMMAN – A contingent (am ‘army’) of pindo-backed rebels has evacuated a garrison set up in June in the Syrian desert at Zakf near the border with Iraq and relocated to its main base in Tanf, rebel sources said on Tuesday. The move follows a deal between Faschingstein and Moscow to abandon the Zakf site, located around 60-70 km north-east of Tanf. Rebel groups still control large, populous areas in both the north-west and south-west of the country, as well as other pockets elsewhere (in this instance, the south-east – RB). Zakf was established to stop the SAA and allies advancing from territory north of Tanf toward the Iraqi border after they managed to cut off and encircle rebels backed by Faschingstein. A source who belongs to Maghawir al-Thawra:

We have left the garrison after our allies reached an agreement with Russia to pull back to Tanf. We have moved all the equipment and destroyed some of the fortifications so they are no longer usable.

Maghawir al-Thawra is a Pentagon-backed rebel group that maintained the base and patrols around Tanf. The Pentagon did not comment on the status of the Zakf site. It has closed numerous temporary bases, as warranted by the operational situation, said spox. Zakf was set up at a tense moment when coalition jets hit Iranian-backed militias several times to stop them advancing toward Tanf, located near Syria’s border with Iraq, to ensure the safety of its forces. The senior commander in the group said:

The base was a first line of defense, and now the justification behind it is no longer present, and the aim is to concentrate in Tanf.

Western-backed rebels had also hoped at the time that it could be used to take more territory along the Iraqi border and to push toward Deir al-Zor in eastern Syria. However, advances by the SAA and its allies from central Syria, as well as by coalition-backed forces from northern Syria, have since approached the city, making a rebel drive there from the south redundant. As the fighting has moved to Deir al-Zor, most Iranian-backed forces have pulled away from the area around Tanf, say intelligence reports. At the same time, Western and Arab countries have put pressure on ‘their’ rebel groups in the desert to pull out of Syria and retreat to Jordan, which the groups have so far resisted. Faschingstein and Moscow have now moved closer to cooperation in Syria, brokering a ceasefire in the south-west which was the first such understanding between them since the start of the conflict. The diplomat said the latest move is part of a broader effort that included that ceasefire. The diplomat told Reuters:

This is the latest outcome of the ongoing secret pindo-Russian talks over southern Syria.

Tanf is the only position with a significant pindo military presence in Syria outside the Kurdish-controlled north, where it has much larger air bases.

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