Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-10 20:53:37|Editor: Song Lifang
DAMASCUS, June 10 (Xinhua) — The general command of the Syrian army said in a statement on Saturday that reaching the Syrian-Iraqi borders constitutes a “turning point” in the war on terror.
It said the Syrian forces and allied troops have completed the first stage of the military operation in the Syrian Desert, by reaching the Syrian-Iraqi borders after battles with the Islamic State (IS) group.
During the operation, dubbed the Great Dawn, the Syrian army controlled many positions in the depth of the desert, according to the statement.
“This achievement constitutes a strategic turning point in the war on terror and a base for expanding the military operation in the desert and across the borders with Iraq and to tighten the noose on what’s left of the IS terror groups,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the statement warned of the risks of the repetitive attacks by the U.S.-led coalition on Syrian military positions in the desert, saying such strikes aim to hinder the advance of the Syrian army in the war on IS.
The army and its allies of Hezbollah group recently unleashed their wide-scale offensive in the desert to clear a triangle of border areas between Iraq, Syria and Jordan.
The army units were struck twice by the U.S. coalition near the Tanf border crossing on the Syrian side of the borders.
The U.S. has forces there and warned the Syrian army away from it.
However, the army skirted around Tanf and reached the borders as the Iraqi forces reached its side of the borders.
Original post xinhuanet.com
Main image southfront.org
RUSSIAN MILITARY: SYRIAN GOVERNMENT FORCES REACHED BORDER WITH IRAQ. US-LED COALITION ONLY PREVENTS GOVERNMENT FORCES FROM FIGHTING ISIS
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) managed to reach the Syrian-Iraqi border after a fast advane in the southeastern desert.
The SAA also captured a desert road north of Al-Tanf and areas under the US-led coalition and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) control. According to the map released by the Russian military, government forces took control of the area near al-Bawdah.
“We see that coalition’s actions only prevents the government forces from defeating Daesh [ISIS] terrorists,” chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said. “While declaring its aim as the fight against international terrorism, the coalition carries out strikes against Syrian troops, lets Daesh [ISIS] militants out of encirclement areas, thus, strengthening terrorist units near Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor.”
It is believed that the Russian Special Operations Forces may have participated in the operation alongside the SAA. Moreover, there have been unconfirmed reports of the deployment of Russian Army forces on the road to prevent the US-led coalition from attacking the SAA.
The Hezbollah media wing has also confirmed the gains at the border with Iraq.
With this advance, SAA has returned to the Syrian-Iraqi border for the first time in three years. The SAA had lost the Baghdad-Damascus road after ISIS attack on Al-Tanf in 2014.
Now, it will be almost impossible for the FSA and the US-led coalition to attack Deir Ezzor from the southern direction because the SAA blocked the road to it, and Iraq wouldn’t allow the US coalition to launch an operation towards Deir Ezzor from its territory.
The US-led coalition maintains very advanced positions in the Shaddadi area north of Deir Ezzor and Wadi Baqar village north-east of Deir Ezzor. However, any attack by the US-led coalition on ISIS from the north may ease the pressure on the SAA in Deir Ezzor and allow government forces to capture it completely. So the United States will not conduct this move.
The SAA next target may be Al-Qa’am border crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi border. The possible operation towards Qa’am may be a joint joint effort of the SAA and the Irai Popular Mobilization Units. Source southfront.org
SYRIAN ARMY, ALLIES SETTING UP FORTIFICATIONS AT IRAQI BORDER, NORTH OF AT TANF (VIDEOS)
Iran-Backed Iraqi Paramilitaries Reach Border Area, Express Readiness to Fight in Syria
By Ahmad Majidyar | Fellow and Director of IranObserved Project – The Middle East Institute | May 30, 2017
The head of an Iranian-supported Badr Organization said today that the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces have launched a new operation to secure areas along the Syrian-Iraqi border, Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.), reported. Hadi al-Amiri also told reporters in Iraq that his forces and other P.M.F. groups are willing to go to Syria to fight the Islamic State if needed, but stressed that his forces would coordinate with the government of Bashar al-Assad for any operations inside Syria. “Iraq’s security will be maintained only if Syria’s security is preserved,” he emphasized. Amiri also claimed that efforts by the Syrian army and Iran-led forces to cut off the Islamic State’s supply lines inside Syria helped the P.M.F. forces a great deal to seize territory in western Mosul. “The P.M.F.’s access to the Syrian borders will also help the Syrian army to reach its own borders,” he emphasized, cautioning that his forces would not allow the U.S. military to interfere in who should police the Syrian-Iraqi border. Referring to the latest Riyadh summit, Amiri further claimed that Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria have set up a joint committee to coordinate their efforts to counter designs by U.S. and its allies in the region.
Comment: The remarks by Amiri come as Iran-supported P.M.F. forces said yesterday they had seized several villages on the border with Syria from the Islamic State. The paramilitaries’ control of strategic areas and roads linking western Mosul to the Syrian border provides Iran a strategic supply route to send Iranian weapons and Iraqi militias to the Assad regime. But to link up the two sides the Syrian Army and Iran-led forces in Syria still have to clear and hold several areas in eastern Syria in order to reach the Iraqi border. While some of those regions leading to the Iraqi border are held by the Islamic State, others are controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian rebel groups. Source mei.edu
BREAKING: Syrian Army Has Reached the Iraqi Border, Cutting off the Americans at al-Tanf