Archived material Access restricted Article
Rantburg

Today's Front Page   View All of Sun 07/29/2012 View Sat 07/28/2012 View Fri 07/27/2012 View Thu 07/26/2012 View Wed 07/25/2012 View Tue 07/24/2012 View Mon 07/23/2012
1
2012-07-29 Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Syria Rebels Fend Off Aleppo Assault
Archived material is restricted to Rantburg regulars and members. If you need access email fred.pruitt=at=gmail.com with your nick to be added to the members list. There is no charge to join Rantburg as a member.
Posted by Fred 2012-07-29 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [1246 views ]  Top
 File under: Govt of Syria 

#1 The Second Battle of Fallujah lasted 45 days. If the Syrian rebels have as much local support as the Fallujah insurgents, they should hold out at least that long - until mid-September. In fact, the rebels should hold out longer, given that government forces don't have anywhere the firepower of the US military. Here's a Wikipedia account of the damage to Fallujah's infrastructure:

Fallujah suffered extensive damage to residences, mosques, city services, and businesses. The city, once referred to as the "City of Mosques", had over 200 pre-battle mosques of which 60 or so were destroyed in the fighting. Many of these mosques had been used as arms caches and weapon strongpoints by Islamist forces. Of the roughly 50,000 buildings in Fallujah, between 7,000 and 10,000 were estimated to have been destroyed in the offensive and from half to two-thirds of the remaining buildings had notable damage.[50][51]

Fallujah had a population of 300K and a land area of about 12 sq miles, for a population density of about 25K per sq mile, roughly 2/3 Brooklyn's. Aleppo has a population of 2.1m and a land area of about 70 sq miles, for a population density of about 30K per sq mile, also similar to Brooklyn's.

The Syrian military have their work cut out for them, given how similar the mission is to Fallujah, but with 7x the population and a city that needs to continue functioning* in its role as Syria's center of commerce. I expect Syrian armored vehicles and choppers will be performing a lot of fire support missions against the rebels. Infantry will probe until they have contact, and try to fix the rebels in place while the big guns and gunships pound away at rebel positions.

* Fallujah could be demolished without any consequence because Uncle Sugar was providing Iraq with a $100b a year subsidy. The Syrians are pretty much making do with the peanuts they're probably getting from Iran. The Chinese and the Russians are clearly in a position to provide huge amounts of money to keep Assad solvent, but the question is whether they are willing to do so.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-29 01:24||   2012-07-29 01:24|| Front Page Top

#2 I have to think Assad's logistical problems are mounting. Reports say Assad forces have abandoned everywhere north of Aleppo.
Posted by phil_b 2012-07-29 03:27||   2012-07-29 03:27|| Front Page Top

#3 Discussing this with my 13yr old and his first question was 'where do the Syrians get their gas, cause if i was the rebels i would knock that out and make them fight without their tanks' logistics win wars. felt pretty good that my son gets that intuitively.
Posted by abu do you love 2012-07-29 06:10||   2012-07-29 06:10|| Front Page Top

#4 from video footage, about 2 hours ago, the rebels captured one tank and one small additional amoured vehicle

also, it seems Assad's forces are doing an extensive bombing and strafing exercise before ground assaults

part of the reason for this may be that the govt's troops are too low in morale do maintain a high intensity action for very long
Posted by lord garth 2012-07-29 14:15||   2012-07-29 14:15|| Front Page Top

#5 also, it seems Assad's forces are doing an extensive bombing and strafing exercise before ground assaults

part of the reason for this may be that the govt's troops are too low in morale do maintain a high intensity action for very long


Artillery prep has been a standard aspect of war since the slingshot was invented. The reason our guys don't do it as much these days is because of concern for collateral damage and the availability of smart bombs. The Syrian government doesn't have the same concern for collateral damage and probably doesn't have smart bombs. Fighting in cities is difficult because every brick wall is a fortified fighting position. My recollection of Marines fighting in Fallujah is that they had on-call tank, artillery, helicopter gunship and AC-130 fire every time they encountered resistance. The Syrians simply do not have that kind of precision or integration - so they do things the WWII way - artillery barrages before infantry advances.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-29 18:28||   2012-07-29 18:28|| Front Page Top

#6 Typical Russian tactic. Some 28,000 Russian artillary pieces participated in the taking of Berlin in WWII.

Klik
Posted by Besoeker 2012-07-29 18:35||   2012-07-29 18:35|| Front Page Top

#7 Come to think of it, culturally-speaking, the standard Middle Eastern way of war has been to use artillery barrages at every opportunity. Crusader armies were picked apart bit by bit by swarms of arrows fired backwards by horseback archers even as they fled, never allowing the Christian men-at-arms to close with them. Were the archers low in morale? Who knows? The reality is that the region is probably populated by the descendants of the horse archers whereas the only remnants of the Crusaders still there are the ruins of sacked castles and piles of shiny bones worn down by sandstorms in the desert.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-29 18:43||   2012-07-29 18:43|| Front Page Top

#8 I have to think Assad's logistical problems are mounting. Reports say Assad forces have abandoned everywhere north of Aleppo.

I think that's the meaning of concentration. They are massing their troops around Aleppo to prevent supplies or guerrillas reinforcements from coming in. We were in Iraq for almost 8 years, and we were never able to prevent foreign fighters from coming in despite our incomparable combination of state-of-the-art sensors and firepower. I wouldn't expect the Syrians to do a better job.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-29 18:51||   2012-07-29 18:51|| Front Page Top

#9 Typical Russian tactic. Some 28,000 Russian artillary pieces participated in the taking of Berlin in WWII.

Yet facing volkssturm [the militia] and Hitler Jugend [kids], the Russians would suffer 300000 casualties with 75000 dead after all that artillery.

Same tactic in Chechnya. First wave in was wiped out. The Russians finally settle for an extensive siege via bombardment. Unless the Syrians have a sustain supply for an extensive period of bombardment, the tactic is questionable. Somewhere in the back of their minds has got to be what the situation will be with nothing in the depot if they exhaust their ammo on the insurgents and then face Israel , particularly if their puppets in Lebanon provoke something.

So far only the Americans today have shown a degree of skill of taking built up areas.
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-07-29 20:34||   2012-07-29 20:34|| Front Page Top

#10 Unless the Syrians have a sustain supply for an extensive period of bombardment, the tactic is questionable. Somewhere in the back of their minds has got to be what the situation will be with nothing in the depot if they exhaust their ammo on the insurgents and then face Israel , particularly if their puppets in Lebanon provoke something.

So far only the Americans today have shown a degree of skill of taking built up areas.


The military that almost overran northern Israel during Yom Kippur is going to run out of ammo? Fighting against maybe 20K insurgents armed with light weapons? I have my doubts.

As to the possibility of Hezbollah launching anything against Israel, that's just not realistic, given that Syria is simultaneously Hezbollah's quartermaster and paymaster. They do things every so often to justify subsidies from Syria and Iran. Precipitating the destruction of their friend and ally Assad is not going to help them at all. In fact, if the ammo situation ever becomes an issue, we are going to see Hezbollah ammo dumps and missiles being transferred to Syria, in addition to Hezbollah fighters becoming active participants there. A Sunni Arab Islamist regime in Syria is bound to attempt to reunify Lebanon with Syria, and therefore a mortal threat to Hezbollah.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-29 21:03||   2012-07-29 21:03|| Front Page Top

#11 As to our guys being uniquely skilled at taking cities, we need to take into account the fact that the taking of Fallujah involved going up against a few thousand guys armed with light weapons and their faith in Allah. There is no comparison with the Battle of Berlin. The German defending Berlin numbered over 700K. They operated 1500 armored vehicles, 2200 aircraft and 9300 artillery pieces. The German had had many years of time in which to create fortified bunkers for a last stand in Berlin, using the full resources of the German state. They had large numbers of anti-aircraft artillery to defend against (Western) Allied air raids that could be used as light artillery. Bottom line is that this is an apples and oranges comparison.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-29 21:28||   2012-07-29 21:28|| Front Page Top

#12 this has been an excellent discussion

On the issue of timing, if this was a case of syria vs a city in another country, syria would definitely want to wait until their opponents were starved and low on ammo

but this Syria vs a Syrian city with rebels; every day Syria doesn't take Aleppo is a day in which the rebels get recruits, stay motivated, etc.
Posted by lord garth 2012-07-29 22:11||   2012-07-29 22:11|| Front Page Top

00:02 JosephMendiola
23:55 JosephMendiola
23:52 JosephMendiola
23:37 JosephMendiola
23:32 JosephMendiola
22:41 Barbara
22:11 lord garth
21:58 newc
21:34 Raider
21:33 Zhang Fei
21:28 Zhang Fei
21:18 swksvolFF
21:03 Zhang Fei
20:48 JosephMendiola
20:46 JosephMendiola
20:34 Procopius2k
20:20 Secret Asian Man
20:16 Rob Crawford
20:05 JosephMendiola
20:04 Matt
20:03 JosephMendiola
20:01 Victor Emmanuel Ominert8455
19:47 Barbara
19:42 Barbara

Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
3.83.32.171

Merry-Go-Blog










Paypal:
Google
Search WWW Search rantburg.com