Thomas Wictor

Final phase of Syrian civil war is about to begin

Final phase of Syrian civil war is about to begin

The smart way to win wars is to shape the battlefield. It’s also called battlefield preparation. I believe that the Arab League and its allies have finished laying the groundwork for the final phase of the Syrian war.

Final may not mean soon

Although the fighting may not stop in the immediate future, it’s clear that the end is in sight. That’s the only possible reason that this happened.

On a secret trip to Syria, the new commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Saturday he felt a moral obligation to enter a war zone to check on his troops and make his own assessment of progress in organizing local Arab and Kurd fighters for what has been a slow campaign to push ISIS out of Syria.

“I have responsibility for this mission, and I have responsibility for the people that we put here,” Army Gen. Joseph Votel said as dusk fell on the remote outpost where he had arrived 11 hours earlier. “So it’s imperative for me to come and see what they’re dealing with — to share the risk they are dealing with.”

General Votel spent one day in Syria.


This trip was incredibly risky.

Votel, who has headed U.S. Central Command for just seven weeks, became the highest-ranking U.S. military officer known to have entered Syria since the U.S. began its campaign against ISIS in 2014.

The circumstance was exceptional because the U.S. has no combat units in Syria, no diplomatic relations with Syria and for much of the past two years has enveloped much of its Syria military mission in secrecy.

The US has about 200 advisers in Syria. Votel met with them, as well as the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD).

And he did this.

After landing at a remote camp where American military advisers are training Syrian Arab troops in basic soldiering skills, Votel split off from the reporters who flew in with him; he then visited several other undisclosed locations in Syria before returning to the camp.

You know what General Votel was doing? Meeting with men like him.

Final briefing

The General has an interesting background.

As a general officer he served in the Pentagon as the Director of the Army and Joint IED Defeat Task Force and subsequently as the Deputy Director of the Joint IED Defeat Organization established under the Deputy Secretary of Defense. He served as the Deputy Commanding General (Operations), 82d Airborne Division / CJTF-82, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Afghanistan and was subsequently assigned as the Deputy Commanding General then Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He most recently served as the Commanding General of U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

His entire career as a general officer has been spent in unconventional warfare. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) is a component of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

In Syria, I’m positive that General Votel met with and was briefed by Arab League and allied special-operations commanders. They told him what’s coming.

Nothing else can explain why the new head of CENTCOM would fly into Syria, in the first daylight operation carried out by the US military. He could’ve been killed by multiple countries or terrorist groups.

Final battle plan

I have no clue how the Arab League will achieve its inevitable victory. Everything being done in Syria is new. Below is a video put out by the Syria Revolutionaries Front (Jabhat Thowar Suriyya). They aren’t who they claim to be.

For one thing, the group had mostly disbanded. Their YouTube channel was inactive for months; new combat videos only began appearing two days ago.

They’re connected to Jaysh al-Thuwar—who are obviously Arab League strategic special operators—and in the video above, the Syria Revolutionaries Front is using weapons that I can’t identify.

First you hear a heavy machine gun fire four rounds, but the projectiles are like nothing I’ve ever seen.




They arc very slowly like mortar rounds, they create massive explosions, and they change color in midair. I’m pretty sure that they’re guided; we have lots of the black boxes flying around.


These machine-gun rounds explode above the ground.





The change of color is a primer igniting, and then a proximity fuse—a tiny radar inside the round—makes it explode over the target. You can’t hide from these rounds.

Final evidence

This video wasn’t shot by militiamen. You hear a weapon fired at 0:18, and then there’s a huge explosion.




Hello, black boxes!



This video shows Arab League professional strategic special forces firing a high-velocity penetrating weapon (HVPW). How do I know?

Final days for the Islamic State

For one thing, the fighters are never shown. Rebels love filming themselves lighting up the enemy. Also, the video caption says that this was an Islamic State fortified position. The HVPW exploded inside the underground bunker, setting off a weapons depot and sending all the terrorists to hell.

Look at this: After the HVPW is fired at 0:18, one frame is missing. They edited out the flight of the munition and used the same frame twice. Below is a gif made with two consecutive frames, after the firing and right before the impact.


Militiamen wouldn’t do that. Only professionals using new, secret weapons would take the time to censor the flight of the HVPW. And professional soldiers aren’t the best actors. That “Allah-hu akbar” at 0:20 sounded a little forced.

So my guess is that the Arab League briefed General Votel as a professional courtesy.

But there may be something else.

It could be that we’re about to see things that will scare the hell out of us.

I honestly have no idea. But it’s entirely possible.

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