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21 hours ago, LoooSeR said:

   Jihadists pushed SAA from 3-4 villages in Aleppo province.


   Interesting to see that HTS brought their best units for this. At least SAA forces that are pushing from south don't encounter all those troops. It feels like attack from Aleppo was supposed to force akbars to spread their forces and try to contain 2 SAA pushes.


IMHO it's mainly the Iranian-sponsored militias on the South Aleppo front (also today in Qalaajiyah TIP captured a Safir jeep with a recoilless rifle, typical vehiclew of Iranian-sponsored militias). Those were very unreliable already in 2016 battles. The few Hebollah units won't change too much. 


On the rebel side it looks like the main fighting force on South Aleppo front is TIP, not HTS. TIP is very serious thread to anyone. They definitely know how to fight. 


Meanwhile SAA took another three Turkish bases into the collection (Tell Touqan and two in Saraib outskirts) and the jihadists withdrew from Saraqib due to it being encircled. SAA probably needs only several hours to clean it from potential suicide bombers and traps. 


From @civilwarmap



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The US State Department and other US government organs believed their own propaganda.  Remember this? The US government is filled with aging Baby Boomers who feel considerable nostalgia about the

Look, I'm a patriotic American, and this sort of video makes me happy.  You see, as a patriotic American, I have long believed that my country makes the best propaganda.  Tremendous.  Huge.  The best,

   Liwa Al-Quds in Idlib province


   SAA newly taken areas. Chechnya flashbacks, kek.











The Syrian army advances from a new axis east of Idlib and besieges the Turkish observation post in Tal Touqan



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   Yuri Lyamin post about Syrian LDF



   I notice that there are many misunderstandings about the Syrian forces of local (territorial) defense or as they are called in English-speaking sources - Local Defense Forces (LDF). They are confused with another government militia - the National Defense Forces (NDF for short), then they are all enlisted in the Shiite militia, although there are representatives of various confessional groups in Syria.


   First, the differences between LDF and NDF.

  Unlike the National Defense Forces, which are a combination of very different voluntary pro-government units formed only during the war, the Local (territorial) Defense Forces are a permanent part of the Syrian Armed Forces. In fact, they were created during the war as permanent territorial troops / militia of Syria, which in case of an enemy attack should repel the attack in their provinces until the main army forces come up and then help them and, if necessary, support them in the attack.

   As far as we know, in order to ensure a unified command, stable financing and supply, all these issues during the current conflict were actually given to the Iranian side, or more specifically, the IRGC of Iran. Thus, the general command of the Local Defense Forces in the provinces is carried out by Iranian commanders, Iran pays salaries, benefits to the wounded, families of the victims, etc.


   Secondly, the total staffing of the Local Defense Forces in all of Syria according to the document approved in 2017 was to be 88.7 thousand people, of which 51.7 thousand military and 37 thousand civilian personnel. To equip these forces with personnel, they included both part of the pre-existing militia units, and reservists, former deserters and draft deviators were enlisted in it. For this reason, it’s incorrect to call them “Shiite militias”, since they include both units really formed from areas of compact Syrian Shiite residence, and Sunnis, various Christian denominations, etc.


   Most of the Local Defense Forces were supposed to be in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus and Hama, but the states were formed for all the provinces, even for Idlib occupied by the militants. So the other day, Iranian media reported the death in the battles with terrorists in Syria of the Iranian commander Asgar Pashapur, who according to known sources in recent years led the Idlib sector of the Syrian Local Defense Forces.


   In general, based on their initial tasks, the Iranians both armed and equipped the detachments of the Local Defense Forces as light auxiliary infantry, armed mainly with small arms and light weapons. Of the support tools, they are mainly classic pickups with machine guns, ZUs and recoilless guns, there are a number of anti-tank systems, mortars and 107-mm rocket launchers. Some units, in my opinion, even have their own armored vehicles, but they are very few, so in terms of artillery and tank support they are heavily dependent on regular army formations.

   [Also, some of ex-militias brought their own equippment and there is some amount of Iranian gear in several parts of LDF]


   Thus, the formation and strengthening of the Local Defense Forces against the backdrop of the return of government to many areas of the country in recent years has greatly reduced the practice of sending Iraqi Shiite militias, Fatimiun Hazaras, etc. to Syria.





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  Some of possibly MRLS ammunition found in villages in Idlibostan






   Turkish M60T and M60TM crossed Syrian border.








   And T-155 Firtina SPGs






   Near Taftanaz


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   Tauhid val-Jihad trophies (LDF gear) from fighting for Halasa/Khalsah on some maps. Note Iranian thermal imagers.






   It appears that Fatimiun was fighting with them. Photos of one killed:








   Village was taken back by SAA/LDF/etc.


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4 minutes ago, LoooSeR said:



Huh, never noticed this before but it looks like sideskirts 3 and 4 are noticably thinner than sideskirts 1 and 2- looks like only enough thickness for 1 reactive element.

On early Sabra prototypes there were no reactive sideskirts aft of 1 and 2.

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12 minutes ago, N-L-M said:

Huh, never noticed this before but it looks like sideskirts 3 and 4 are noticably thinner than sideskirts 1 and 2- looks like only enough thickness for 1 reactive element.

On early Sabra prototypes there were no reactive sideskirts aft of 1 and 2.

   I think i see an armor for turret ring on that tank, which is rare. They bothered to protect it, but put even less ERA on the sides than what late Soviet tanks had (T-80U had 3 side skirt elements with ERA). 

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Just now, LoooSeR said:

armor for turret ring

Every Magach with Blazer got pretty much the same turret ring modules. I can only hope the fill is newer.

In general the Magach and Sabra armor kits seem to be optimized for a high end threat at the cost of coverage, all under rather serious weight restrictions leading to really poor coverage, especially hull side.

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   More photos of those tanks:










4 minutes ago, N-L-M said:

Every Magach with Blazer got pretty much the same turret ring modules. I can only hope the fill is newer.

In general the Magach and Sabra armor kits seem to be optimized for a high end threat at the cost of coverage, all under rather serious weight restrictions leading to really poor coverage, especially hull side.

   I'm not really sure about how well they will fair in Syria if they will get into active combat. I thought that giving T-90 tanks without any kind of even simple ERA upgrade (side modules with Relikt for example) was a bad idea, not enough side protection for ATGM-filled battlefield.

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9 minutes ago, N-L-M said:

Agreed. At least the areas which are uparmored (turret frontal arc and UFP) might be able to shrug off bigger hits. But seeing just how many RPGs and ATGMs fly around Syria, its likely to be very explodey.

   Well, Leo 2s were already schwacked, we can anticipate further "Western armor" testing in Syria. Although diplomacy can get in the way :D

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It looks like SAA will take El Eis and ICARDA today or tomorrow. That was the main stronghold for the militants in the South Aleppo for years. There is also a Turkish base in El Eis. 


This map from @civilwarmap is not even the latest status. The front is already at El Eis itself from the south after SAA took the four villages south of Icarda (from Jubb Kas to Banis). 


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