Syrian troops with a ZSU-23-4 artillery piece. (Syrian Armed Forces)

When the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) retreated from Idlib City and Palmyra in late Spring of 2015; it was assumed that the latter was suffering from a shortage of manpower to combat the Al-Qaeda affiliates from Jaysh Al-Fateh and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS).

Of course the number of soldiers at these fronts were not overwhelming in favor of the Syrian Armed Forces; however, more importantly, the strategy behind these massive withdrawals was far more frustrating and mind-boggling for those who observed the battles of Palmyra and Idlib from afar.

How could their frontlines crumble so quickly? Sure, one could argue that the sleeper cells inside these cities gave the Islamist forces a boost; but, this still does not explain why the Syrian Arab Army would leave tanks, weapons, and et al.

Even more frustrating was the fact that Jaysh Al-Fateh appeared unstoppable, as they marched on foot through 30 kilometers of rugged terrain without much resistance from the Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces (NDF) after the fall of Idlib City in April 0f 2015.

Then there was Palmyra – a relatively uncontested city that sits in the heart of the Homs Governorate’s vast desert terrain: how could ISIS evade the watchful eye of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF)?

Well, the answer is simple: there was no contingency for the retreat and no coordination with the Syrian Air Force to halt ISIS’ advance from Al-Sikanah.

Where were the mines? Where were the roadside bombs? Jaysh Al-Fateh and ISIS would travel from town-to-town unscathed; meanwhile, the Syrian Armed Forces would just abandon their posts, leaving their weapons and vehicles to be confiscated by the enemy combatants.

ALSO READ  Syrian Army captures militant stronghold in southwest Aleppo

This was not the first time that the Syrian Armed Forces have committed something so foolish and it likely won’t be the last time if they do not modify their withdrawal contingencies.

There is no excuse for allowing enemy forces to move freely from town-to-town without any repercussions; in fact, this has very little to do with manpower and more to do with adept battlefield commanders.

Idlib, Busra Al-Sham, and Palmyra were a disaster for the Syrian Armed Forces; and  if they do not change soon, the Dara’a City salient could very well resemble Jaysh Al-Fateh’s Idlib offensive.

Advertisements
Share this article:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Notice: All comments represent the view of the commenter and not necessarily the views of AMN.

All comments that are not spam or wholly inappropriate are approved, we do not sort out opinions or points of view that are different from ours.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Thomas Baker
Guest
Thomas Baker

Military lesson to be learned. Know your enemy we’ll, keep him close to you, know everything you can about him. Know when he eats,sleeps and assembles. Know his habits, his strengths and his weakness. This is irregular warfare, fight it as such.

Abdou Khouli
Guest
Abdou Khouli

Learning military lessons after 4 years of fighting?! this sound more like an army collapsing. Weak willed commanders and lack of moral. This does not bode well for the future.

Max Rexet
Guest
Max Rexet

Dear Leath, thanks for your open minded words. It is indeed very frustrating to see such moves. In recents weeks I was lucky to see a certain improvement. But time will show. Great job you do!!

Nbah Vargus
Guest
Nbah Vargus

Most wars are won by those who resist.

Daahireeto Mohamud
Guest
Daahireeto Mohamud

When the terrorists are not abadoning even one KM in Zabadani fo 60 days and SAA is vocating cities and towns with out resistance that means there is something wrong in SAA war strategy an miliary tactics, they need moral boasting tactics, they need asymetric warfare tactics, they need effective Info war strategy, they need to fight hard . I would argue old Baath war strategy and Info war is not working, change war strategy , change military tactics, use airforce more effectvely, keep your ground as much as possible, I do not buy the notion of strategic withdrawal,

Abdel Abdellater
Guest
Abdel Abdellater

It is not true that the Syrian Army left weapons and working tanks behind in the retreat from Idib this past Spring and early Summer. I didn’t follow the situation in Palmyra so I can’t comment about Palmyra. In Idlib there was an orderly and staged withdrawal, first from Idlib City, then from Jisr Al-Shughur, then from Al-Mastouma, then from Ariha, then from Frikka. In each those withdrawals the Syrian Army lost almost no men and left behind almost no weaponry. (A minor mishap happened in the withdrawal from Jisr Al-Shughur, it was widely publicized, but it was truly minor… Read more »

Eric Holt
Guest
Eric Holt

Yes, but are not Iranian advisers training syrian troops. Have been for a while and I must say they do not really intill fear into the heart of rebel or opposition forces with these tactics. No do they project battle compedence. HAHAHA! And they want a go at Israel or america lol.