Saturday, May 25, 2013

Interesting video from the Abkhazian Network News Agency

Check out this video - its mostly combat footage with some commentary in Russian (which I will summarize below):

There really is no point giving you a word for word translation, but a few comments are worth making:

First, the Syrians are advancing, rather easily in fact.  During the two days of combat it took them to take the fortified position shown in the footage the Syrians only suffered one casualty - a wounded.  The Russian reporters are explaining that the insurgents began to retreat almost as soon as they realized that the Syrian assault teams would be attacking them from the sides.  In other words, the morale of the Syrian Army is excellent, the one of the insurgents very bad.

Second, the type of fortifications shown are a far cry from a truly well defended position.  Clearly, this is not Grozny or Bint Jbeil.  From an engineering point of view, these positions are mediocre at best, poorly camouflaged, and unable to protect against a determined assault.

Third, the type of tactics used by the Syrian military also indicate that the insurgents are not very skilled combatants.  Judging by this footage, they are not taking any serious measures to protect their flanks nor are they providing their tanks with direct infantry support.  Furthermore, the Syrian infantry seems to be very lightly armed - just some assault rifles, a very far cry from the heavily armed assault groups the Russians used in Grozny (which had machine guns, anti-tank missiles, bunker busting fuel-air explosives missile launchers, grenade launchers, sniper rifles, directional anti-personnel mines, etc.).   Frankly, what we see is something like a platoon or so of foot soldiers and three tanks.  Hardly the kind of force which would have to be thrown at a skilled and determined defense.

In fact, the Russian reporters are saying that the only type of "resistance" they met is some mortar and some sniper fire.  If that is all the insurgents can throw at the Syrian military, things look pretty bad for the "FSA".

Of course, this video shows only a few (selected) minutes of footage made in one specific location, but I have to say that I like what I see very much.  If that is what is happening elsewhere, then the tide has really changed in Syria's favor.

The Saker

PS: and if you wonder why the faces of the Syrian soldiers are hidden in this report, it is because the "freedom loving and democracy promoting" insurgency kidnaps, tortures and kills the family and relatives of soldiers whom they can identify.  Robert Fisk also reported that in his articles.