syria for thursday feb 27

The militants took Saraqib
Colonel Cassad, Feb 27 2020

Things look difficult for SAA in eastern Idlib. During the night, the militants advanced from Sarmin and Afes into Saraqibe. By morning they had already made a video in the western part of Saraqib, showing the exit to the highway M5, which is thus again cut off. Some Syrian sources deny the loss of Saraqib, but messages from TASS claiming full control of the cities seem less ridiculous, with the availability of photo and video from militants confirming night promotion in the city.

And so on. If you snap the video to the terrain, it can be noted that at least they control the northern and western suburbs and the city centre. Thus, if everything that has happened here and in the south is not repaired, then the SAA faces a failure significant enough to put into question control over the entire route from Hama to Aleppo. This is a serious operational crisis.

Briefly on Syria
Colonel Cassad, Feb 27 2020

Briefly in Idlib. Today’s events there are developing very quickly and the front line changes drastically literally every hour. The main thing for the first half of Feb 27, the SAA liberated southern Idlib, the rebels took Saraqib. At 1 pm, the militants controlled at least part, and a maximum the whole of Saraqib, and the village west of the city. Al-Jazeera confirms the unblocking of the two observation points of the Turkish army. Turkish sources state that the southern entrances to Saraqib brought under control, and the highway M5 is physically cut. However, in the eastern part of Saraqib information is more controversial, as in the Turkish observation point to the east of the city. There the militants and the Turks less specific. Attempts by the SAA to clear it of militants failed. According to Reuters, citing Turkish military sources, the SAA began a counter-attack on Saraqib, with the support of the Russian air force. How successful these actions will be, we will look at in the evening.

In southern Idlib, the militant defense completely imploded, and Assad actually pressed almost all the plain of al-Gab without a serious fight from the militants, gaining a dozen settlements along the way and surrounding one observation point of the Turkish army. In view of this, much has changed the familiar contours of Idlib today. The remnants of rebel units are retreating to the north, trying to form a defense on a narrow front. Fighting continues for the city Kinasfarah, in which the militants rested securely until now. The SAA expressed optimism about the imminent capture of Kinasfarah towards Jisr-al-Shugur.

Spur of the moment. Despite Erdogan’s statements that on Mar 5 he will host a summit with Putin, the Kremlin today said that Putin has “other working plans” for Mar 5. Probably more important plans than the discussion of the threats to Assad of Erdogan. Here is a profound message. “Friend Recep” continues to throw a variety of threats. The press Secretary of Turkey’s ruling party stated that Ankara is not satisfied with the proposal for a new demarcation line proposed by Moscow. Overall, the Assad regime already controls a greater percentage of the territory of Idlib than the militants. For the first time since 2012. The loss of Saraqib is very unpleasant, but victory in the south seem to be more significant to the count of settlements and territory.

Military Situation In North-Western Syria (Map Update)
South Front, Feb 27 2020

A brief overview of the recent developments in northwestern Syria:

Gains And Setbacks Of SAA In Greater Idlib (Map Update)
South Front, Feb 27 2020

Since Feb 25, Turkish troops and their friends from HTS and other al-Qaeda-affilated groups have recaptured the towns of Nayrab and Saraqib in eastern Idlib cutting off the M5 highway in this point. At the sane tine, they have lost a large chunk of the area in southern Idlib.

Turkish-Backed Militants Make New Gains Around Saraqib
South Front, Feb 27 2020

On Feb 27, Turkish-backed militants advanced further around Saraqib city in southern Idlib amid a collapse in the remaining Syrian Arab Army (SAA) positions there. HTS and the National Front for Liberation (NFL) imposed control of the towns of Dadikh, Jawbas and Kafr Battikh, northwest and west of Saraqib. As usual, the Turkish artillery provided the militants with fire support. HTS, the NFL and several al-Qaeda factions captured Saraqib city in the early morning in a rapid attack that lasted for few hours only. The SAA didn’t show any real resistance. The remaining SAA positions around Saraqib appear to be collapsing. The low morale of the troops and bad decisions by field commanders there were most likely the cause behind this situation. Forces in Saraqib were well-armed and provided with sufficient fire support by the Syrian artillery and the Russian Air Force. Pro-government sources are now reporting that the army is preparing a large counter-attack to recapture Saraqib city and reopen the M5 highway.

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