south front

UAE-Backed Forces End Offensive In Central Yemen Following Threats By Houthis
South Front, Jan 28 2022

On Jan 28, the Saudi-led coalition’s ground offensive against the Houthis (Ansar Allah) in central Yemen came to a surprising end when the UAE-backed Giants Brigades concluded their operation in the region. The Giant Brigades said in a brief statement:

After the end of Operation Southern Storm, the southern Giant Brigades are redeploying in Shabwah and transferring their brigades to their lair with high readiness.

Operation Southern Storm, which began on Jan 1, covered the provinces of Shabwah and Ma’rib. In the course of the operation, the Giants Brigades and other proxies of the Saudi-led coalition captured the district centers of Usaylan, Bayhan and Ain in Shabwah and the district center of Harib in Ma’rib. A Yemeni source told the al-Mayadeen TV that the decision to end Operation Southern Storm was made by the UAE following threats by the Houthis. The unnamed source said:

The attacks on the Emirati depth and Sanaa’s threats to repeat it, forced the UAE to stop its military operations in Yemen.

The Houthis attacked the UAE twice in less than ten days. On Jan 17, the Houthis launched several drones and missiles at Abu Dhabi. The attack killed three people and caused some material losses. On Jan 24, the Houthis launched a second attack with drones and missiles. This time however, the attack was foiled. After the second attack, the group threatened foreign investments and key attractions in the UAE, including Expo Dubai and the Burj Khalifa. The end of Operation Southern Storm is somewhat an achievement for the Houthis. However, the Giants Brigades could ignore their announcement and continue their offensive in Ma’rib in the coming few days. Such a move will likely provoke a fierce response from the Houthis.

Bodies Of 18 SDF Fighters Found At Al-Hasakah Prison Where Dozens Of Terrorists Are Still Holding Up
South Front, Jan 28 2022

Dozens of ISIS terrorists are still holding up in the fortified basements of Geweran prison in the northeastern Syrian city of al-Hasakah, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed on Jan 28. The SDF announced on Jan 26 that Geweran was recaptured from ISIS terrorists, who occupied it on Jan 20. However as of Jan 28, clashes are still ongoing in the prison. According to the SOHR, SDF fighters have not stormed Geweran’s basements because they fear that the terrorists taking shelter there may be holding some live hostages, especially that many of the prison’s guards and workers are still missing. The remaining ISIS terrorists, who are estimated to be between 60 and 90, are still refusing to surrender. However, the SDF hopes that they will give up once they run out of water and food. Currently, the SDF is combing the empty parts of the prison. On Jan 18, the dead bodies of 28 SDF fighters were retrieved from the prison. Only 1,600 of over 4,000 terrorists, who were detained at Geweran prison, surrendered to the SDF or were apprehended by the group between Jan 20-26. The fate of more than 2,000 others remains unknown. A recent report by the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi revealed that the battle slowed down on Jan 26 as a result of a deal between the SDF and ISIS. Under the deal, the SDF allowed some 200 terrorists to withdraw from Geweran prison to al-Badia in exchange for the release of 23 of its own fighters who were being held as hostages. ISIS weekly newspaper, al-Nabaa, confirmed in a recent report that “many groups” of terrorists were able to escape the prison as result of the Jan 20 attack. According to the most recent update by the SOHR, the battle of Geweran prison has so far claimed the lives of 180 terrorists of ISIS, seven civilians and 73 personnel of the SDF and its security forces.

Deir Ezzor: Four Iranian-Backed Fighters Killed In Unusual ISIS Attack On Euphrates’ Western Bank
South Front, Jan 28 2022

Early on Jan 28, ISIS terrorists attacked several positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies near the town of Se’alow in the southern countryside of Deir Ezzor. The terrorists took advantage of a powerful storm that forced the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) to halt their combat operations over Syria’s central region. SAA troops and their allies fought without close air support. Despite this, the terrorists were not able to capture any positions. According to Syrian opposition activists, four fighters of Iranian-backed forces were killed in the attack. This is yet to be confirmed, however. Following the attack, the VKS resumed its combat operations over central Syria. Russian warplanes carried out at least four airstrikes on the desert between Deir Ezzor and Homs. Se’alow is located right on the western bank of the Euphrates River. The eastern bank is controlled by the SDF. ISIS attack on the town may have been just a distraction to facilitate the crossing of terrorists who recently escaped from Geweran prison in the northeastern city of al-Hasakah to the central region. ISIS weekly newspaper, al-Nabaa, confirmed in a recent report that “many groups” of terrorists were able to escape the prison as result of the January 20 attack.

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