If you’ve been fretting about a reports of regime gains in the East Ghouta area, don’t be. Everyone knows the inept regime can rarely take anything unless the rebels run out of ammo or fail to co-operate as in Ariha recently. The areas in East Ghota were not so much taken as given up in return for more important strategic gains that they werenot likely to get in East Ghouta anytime soon.
Tazimorocco explains in a twitter: “FSA lost few areas in Eastern Ghouta, which is mostly rebel-held, because thousands fighters have been sent to Qalamoun. “ When you shift thousands of troops you better get what you are after and reduce your perimeters in the area where forces have been reduced.
So what did rebels gain in return for what they gave up? Several key towns, most (not all) of Base 81 and now a three bagger just to the east of that base where rebels seized an air defense base, a fuel base and a security base. Rebel gains in Qalamon threat to cut off Damascus from Homs, Tartous and the coast.
EAST GHOUTA: Taking or holding ALL of East Ghouta would be nice for the rebels, but what is essential is that they hold enough for their purposes. If the rebels, with their huge edge in reliable and motivated manpower (i.e., the only manpower that counts) need to make tradeoffs like this to win big elsewhere, imagine the regime’s dire predicament as it tries to adjust. If it lacks the manpower to deal with the new threat, defenders there are stuck. If it attempts to adjust by thinning defenses elsewhere, rebels take advantage.
What good are a few extra neighborhoods in East Ghouta when you consider the losses the regime is incurring elsewhere? Here’s a rough status map of the Qalamoun area now
THINGS ARE GOING PRETTY WELL NEAR DARAA CITY TOO
Markito0171 reports the rebels have seized much of the northern Daraa suburb of Altman, surrounding remaining defenders and cutting off the suppy line into Daraa. The air defense base on Altman’s western edge is now fully in rebel hands. Bear in mind the rebels already control the northern part of Daraa city and much of the center. Here’s a link showing Altman’s location:
South of Idlib: MORE ASSAD TROOPS KILLED SOUTH OF IDLIB AT STRATEGIC WADI DAIF BASE.
The dead guys wre manning a checkpoint near the camp when rebel mortars struck.
MEZZE AIRPORT IS SMOKING ( VIDEO): Smoke rises from Mezze Airport after two explosions. Rebels claim the regime is down to nine USABLE airports. Maybe Obama can reduce that number further.
MORE REGIME TROOPS HAVE DEFECTED IN TWO LOCATIONS:
The first video is of 11 regime troops defecting in Ghabagheb. The second is of 40 more defecting in Deir Ezzor.
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