BATTLE FIELD SYRIA: ALEPPO CENTRAL PRISON

Aleppo Central Prison Lead Photo.png

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*Panoramic View Of Aleppo Central Prison, including editing and coloring.

DESCRIPTION:                                                                                                                                                                            

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.296035&lon=37.200007&z=15&m=b

      Aleppo Central Prison is located 7 miles northeast of the Aleppo Citadel and is situated near the suburb of Jbeileh. Like the Al-Kindi Hospital, this facility straddles a major thoroughfare coming into the city. The Prison is located in a valley surrounded by gradual inclines and spotted suburbs/industrial facilities. The Prison was well constructed with reinforced concrete and contains a number of levels and building structures. Extensions on the prison were planned until the influx of violence. The perimeter of the prison contains high walls and concertina wire, with a total distance of 3 kilometers. Despite it’s forbidding presence and defensive capabilities, it still suffers from being surrounded by high-ground and a small urban environment near the main entrance. This allows for infiltration and VBIED’s. With the proper supply/weapons and man power, the Aleppo Central Prison can be defended for a long period of time. On the other hand, like Al-Kindi, if left to its own defenses the structure will succumb to its own weaknesses. 

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BACKGROUND:                                                                                                                                                                        

At the beginning of the conflict in Syria, Aleppo’s City managed to stay out of the fray and for the most part supported the government. Fighting wouldn’t hit the vicinity until July of 2012. Rebel victories in the North inevitably brought the city into the cross-hairs of the rebel/jihadists. The prison was staffed with guards and other technical workers, as well as the inmates that inhabited the grounds. Some had been there before the uprising along with those arrested since the start.

Contrary to popular media, who like to embellish, the idea that the prison would stay fully stocked  until being surrounded is illogical on two fronts, one being that if they were to be freed they would join the fight against the SAA(Syrian Arab Army) . The second being the logistics, because at a time like this to get that much food for all those mouths to feed would not be smart. Its hard to say the exact numbers but maybe a thousand or less(I’ll look).

As battles broke out over the city, the conflict became characterized by an ebb and flow of local offensives and counter-attacks. By the beginning of 2013, in the North the SAA had been pushed into a small three mile corridor. The area stretched from the prison, south along the rail-line towards Al-Kindi Hospital and the Handarat district.*note - SAA that had been caught up in the most recent rebel offensive up north had hastily made it to friendly territory (pocket below) to try and regroup. 

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 WIKIMAPIA LINK FOR ABOVE IMAGE(Investigate!!!!) 

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.276386&lon=37.184944&z=13&m=b

CURRENT SITUATION:                                                                                                                                                             

 The rebel/jihadist forces were able to chip away at this pocket until they drove all defenders to either the AL-Kindi Hospital or Aleppo Prison. If you read my previous article on the hospital you know what happens. With the fall of Al-Kindi, the road was now clear(literally) to amass and concentrate on the last obstacle, Aleppo Prison.  

 It must be noted that after the fall of Al-Qusayr in the summer/fall of 2013, the SAA went on an offensive to the East, through Al-Safirah and Khanasir that reached the Aleppo airport and continues to push towards the prison. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen because it really is a matter of who can get their quicker…. The SAA to the defenders, or the rebel/jihadst into the prison.

 The SAF has played a major role in the defense of Aleppo Prison, they have been on call to respond to any attack by deploying fighter jets as well as drop supplies to the besieged defenders.

 The forces aligned against the SAA are a mixture of Jabat Al-Nusra, Ahrar Al Sham(Falcons), Al Islamiya. These groups are filled with foreign fighters from all over the middle-east and Caucus region. The FSA is present in spirit but this is a foreign run affair with command and control led by the two most senior groups. 

The latest fighting occurred a few days ago and involved a common theme with the jihadist, the VBIED(not the first one used on the prison). Yes, another TNT strapped lorry, up-armored and hurled at the prison to try and breach the defenses. For as crude as it is , it is the best tactic if you have someone willing to do it. 

The website SyrianPerspective.com has a good article on the attack. I follow the site, and ZIad, the creator, has some reliable sources on the ground. His article states that the attack was led by a Chechen group and their leader , Abu Sayf Al-Sheeshaani. He supposedly died in the attack, here is a before and after photo of him. 

Aleppo Central Prison Sheeshani.png

In researching the battle I unknowingly stumbled upon evidence of him at that location on the day of the attack. 

 The video below was shot by Ahrar Al-Sham and Contains HD footage of the prison and the VBIED attack. As well, I believe you will see Mr. Sheeshani standing below the man barking out orders or inspiration. This footage could be hours or minutes before he died. Oh and notice all the Chechen looking “rebels” in the background? The Map below will show the location of video taping and also why I believe the Prison is in danger of being overrun.

*Be sure to click HD setting on video                          

*Video Reference Map
Aleppo Central Prison Video Reference Map.png

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 (I have to say that this was the hardest video/geographical breakdown I’ve done in a while. The geometric shaping of the prison and its location in a valley made me look for hours until I figured out the overall layout, I still have questions?..?..?) 

 So after viewing the video you get a sense of the state of the prison and the position of the attackers. The attack supposedly failed and many rebel/jihadist forces were killed or wounded. Media reports indicate that a number of prisoners were freed, but then again they also claimed that the rebels/jihadists had taken the prison outright. Like all stories  with two sides, its probably a little of both- Attack didn’t achieve takeover but did manage to liberate a few prisoners and SAA living to fight another day.

 My thoughts are the state of the building, after months of attacks, and the fact that the attackers have surrounded the prison in such close proximity.  Also, another concern is the pre-constructed sandbag barriers for firing positions, meaning they have been there awhile and/or they feel they are safe enough to engage from those positions. One thing is for sure, the VBIED is here to stay and look for it in the very near future.

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                                                              

Understood by both sides, the battle of Aleppo Prison is one of time .  On one side you have the SAA, pushing from the South to try and reach  their besieged comrades, and on the other you have the rebel/jihadist forces trying to end all resistance A.S.A.P.

 This scenario mirrors Al-Kindi in many ways and the SAA are determined not to have the same outcome. From my research, it’s my opinion if they aren’t relieved soon they will fall. They cannot hold out on their own for more than a month, (even with artillery and air support). There will come a time (Like Menagh and Al-Kindi) when the attackers will have suppressed the defenders enough to get a VBIED into a breach and the rest is history. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for updates, as they come in. 

Extra Info:                                                                                                                                                                                 

(HD VIDEO OF VBIED FROM LAST YEAR. VIDEO REFERENCE MAP TO UNDERSTAND TERRAIN AND DATE/POSITION ORIENTATION)*PUT ON HD AT BOTTOM RIGHT MENU

*Video Reference Map https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.myfotojournal.com/blogs/trpintel/photos/2014/02/09/aba72c745bafbc97a25a.pngAleppo Central Prison REF#3.png

10 comments

bute
Congrats on your work.Interesting lecture.I will follow your updates.Cheers.
radioyaran
I am really unaware of the state of the syrian airforce, but to me it would sense if they would drop some of their barrel bombs on the positions from where the dead chechen commander and other rebels were listening to instructions. Also, any vanguard position suitable for being used as a firing ground, from where mortars, Konkours or tank fire can be used with precision should be attacked from the air. An idea would be to deploy a squadron to give air cover and pin down rebels while some of the defenders leave the prison and IED the roads to it. This is more effective than firing RPGs on incoming trucks.
LightSaber
Good work, very interesting! I highly doubt that any prisoners managed to escape since the building remained intact, no reason to give any credibility to the claims of the zio-propaganda outlets. Few questions: 1) any idea how many of the terrorist scum has gathered around the ACP? 2) Why do you think the positions of the subhuman rats shown on the videos have not been bombed, burned, exploded into oblivion yet (Syrian forces should use artillery, barrel bombs, napalm, thermobaric bombs, flame throwers from helis - whatever is most fun for them)? It's really beyond my comprehension... 3) Why do you estimate so low the chances for the Syrian forces to defend this stronghold? With the supplies coming by air they should have no problem to defend it as long as they want... 4) Do you think it is western/zionazi commandos/mercaneries scum hiding their faces behind those characteristic AlNusra (?) uniforms? People dressed in them seem to have been perpetrating always the most vicious, inhumane, barbaric, cruel and ruthless acts.
KO
Good article. It seems like the SAA is not too far, though and Sheikh Maqsood seems to be under Kurdish control, who have known to co-operate with government forces, Btw, its "Caucasus", not "Caucus".
TRPINTEL
TRPINTEL
Radio Aryan- Yeah i always wonder if they have a group monitoring websites for tips and hints as to where the rebel/jihadist forces may be. Yeah I agree, the problem is time, even with the latest technologies the U.S. air force/army still has a delay time from acquisition to engagement, you can only imagine that time with the Syrian Army/Air Force. LightSaber- Hey there, My guess on numbers is around1000-2000 depending on the time and location. I think they mass for attacks and then disperse so as not to be a large target. To answer why they haven't is a good question. I don't think the SAA position is as good as some would believe and they are really slipping in their overall awareness of the battlefield. It is just a video but I've watched enough to give me that instinct about whats not right in a scene and that really stuck out that they could move that freely near the prison. Its hard to say what will happen because both sides are slugging it out. KO- Thanks, yeah sometimes you miss em, They are close and driving , I don't think high command wants to lose that place but could be content butchering the opposition along its walls. Like Pavlovs house at stalingrad
abu musa
SAF Intelligence unit and ACP SAA commanders received tips from paid locals that a build up of 1500+ Al nusra and other jiahdi units where in route to attack days before. Thats why 8 RPG where pre readied as a deterrent for the suicide truck
just a tip
hi, i appreciate what you did enourmously. one little suggestion, when using numbers on the legend for videos, tag the videos as well, i mean you tagged 1 and 2 for vid positions, tag the videos as well
Canthama
This one is a long struggle, the SAA fighters inside the central prison are modern version of Homer's Troy heros, quite amazing what those guys are going through and it would be an amazing study to trace paralels with ancient sieges warfare, once the site is freed of course. Back to the battle, I also doubt prisoners were released from the Britsh suicide bomber try, never saw a video or photos of them freed, very likely to be terrorist propaganda to gather public favor against the "Tyrant", normal BS in my view. On the other side the terrorist groups lack of coordination and strategy is focusing them to get into the prison was if it was a super strategic conquest and in my humble opnion while they focus on it SAA is eating from the boarders and get them trying to climb the walls. Somehow it is a stubborn strategy vs goo sense. I may understand that they think by releasing 3000 prisioners that would have the additional manpower to face SAA, but who knows the conditions of those prisoners, hunger and numbers dwindling by the day. Anyhow, SAA is only 1-2 km away from the siege and it seems anytime soon those brave soldiers will get their chance to sleep a good night by chance.
SyrianSmeagle
GREAT NEWS! Today Aleppo prison has been reached by the Syrian Army SAA. Certainly those filthy bearded snackbaryan attackers died in vain after all (Takbeeeeeeeeeeer !!!!)

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