Friday, September 11, 2015

Avoiding a Massacre

Assad's forces lost a major air base in the northwest. At least it wasn't a massacre.

Syrian defenders escaped from their long siege:

In a newsflash, Syrian state television said the army garrison that had defended the Abu al-Duhur military airport had evacuated the post.

The airport, which was one of the last remaining military strongholds in Idlib province, has been under siege for almost two years by rebels. Another major base east of Aleppo, Kweiris, is currently besieged by ultra hardline Islamic State militants.

At least Assad avoided another Dien Bien Phu moment as his forces suffered at the Tabqa air base.

Speaking of Dien Bien Phu, given that the French experienced the original, I'm kind of surprised that the French are still in to air dropping troops into enemy territory:

The French Army continues to carry out parachute drops as part of its 'Barkhane' counter-insurgency operation against Islamist militants operating in the Sahara....

It said a total force of 90 soldiers from the 8ème Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine, 17ème Régiment de Génie Parachutiste, and 35ème Régiment d'Artillerie Parachutiste were dropped into the desert in the far north of Niger at night by two C-160 Transall and one C-130 Hercules transport aircraft on 22 August.

Not that the French face an enemy with the same capabilities as the Viet Minh. But the French forces are smaller, too.

Strategypage has more on the French efforts in Mali, which was the original focus of French military efforts in the region.