Syrian Regime Commanding Officer

Ithikial

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Name: Abdul Salem Abbas

Date of Birth: 13th June 1975
Age: 33
Home City: Al Kiswah
Position: District Official

Abdul Salem Abbas was born in the city of Al Kiswah in the Rif Dimashq Governorate. The second son of a senior public servant to the Hafez al-Assad government in the 1970’s. Benefiting from his position in the administration his family was well to do compared to most. His elder brother was awarded a commission in the Syrian army and seen as the natural heir to the family. This allowed Abdul to focus on his passion of history and theology, attending the University of Damascus.

As the younger brother finished his studies and followed his father into the civil service, tragedy struck with his elder brother killed in an ambush during a tour deployed in occupied Lebanon. The focus of the family soon shifted to Abdul who rose through the ranks and replaced his father upon his retirement before being promoted as a district official in his home of Rif Dimashq in 2003.

The young official moved quickly in cementing his position, instigating a range of public work projects centered around road infrastructure and water distribution, the latter seen as principal for the ongoing farming activity in the region. He quickly became popular with the local populous and gave many fiery speeches at local events in support of the regime, at the same time promoting his place within it.

As the threat of war with the west loomed he desperately tried to have additional military forces assigned to his region but was rebuffed by the military who were already stretched covering a likely invasion from three directions. Realizing any open battle with NATO forces was doomed to failure he began making plans by stockpiling as many small arms and other weapons he could lay his hands on and storing them across the cities of the region, out of site of both NATO and his own Government.

Within a week of the invasion, the district chief of the Rif Dimashq Governorate fled, (rumored to the Lebanese coast) leaving Abdul Salem Abbas the de facto leader of the district. As NATO swiftly swept across the deserts towards Damascus his fiery speeches increased and local militias were formed ready to resist the invader at every turn when they arrived. The agricultural lands and urban areas that dotted his district would provide plenty of locations for ambush and fighting a protracted campaign unlike the open ground further east.

As remnant army forces fled back to Damascus, many fled to the south of the capital to avoid an engagement. Abdul spent days racing from village to town to bring these scattered forces under his command, trying to form some semblance of a defensive line. For every soldier that turned around to face the enemy, another continued to flee. Still the forces under his command continues to grow and a cadre of military officers are now in place to provide him with advice on how to conduct the campaign. However, how long the support for a public official with no history of military service is certainly a question that will need to be answered.

Promotional pictures holding an AKM are one thing, leading this ad-hoc force to victory is another.
 
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Ithikial

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You sit in the basement you've made made your headquarters over these past few days as aides rush too and from you carrying messages from across your region. NATO has left their staging area and forces have begun their long expected assault. It's become a touch monotonous, or that could just be the dreariness of a lack of sleep. You turn away all the aides with pleasantries however when one message reaches you you sit up and take note.

"Sir, one of our forward raiding groups reports success. They hit an American artillery position before dawn causing many casualties and knocking out the guns."

A moment of weakness as you leap in the air to show your delight. As you restrain yourself once again with the eyes of a man in uniform looking at you with a rather unpleasant look he states, "One small victory does not win a war. Enemy forces approaching TF Duma on the outskirts of Damascus. Close combat is expected."

Back to work.

<No action required.>
 

Ithikial

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You sit in your basement listening to the radio with other staff officers, trying to make out what is happening as your men fight the British well to the east.

One of your taskforce commanders comes in and asks for an urgent meeting. You sigh and pull yourself away from the radio into a side room where you receive some interesting intelligence. The taskforce commander says they have a lead on a some abandoned military equipment that could help in our defense plans but it would mean sending some forces away from area of operations to retrieve them.

You ask what kind of equipment and how much. Your commander says he doesn't know exactly only that they are armoured and there are 'a few.'

You have a choice to make:
Allow the Taskforce Commander to take his men to retrieve the vehicles and bring them back to the area of operations. Taskforce Qarah is not available for deployment until the tomorrow morning.

Dismiss the intelligence as mere rumour and inform the commander his men are needed here at the front.
 

Ithikial

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As the news of TF Duma's demise plays out an aide runs over and reports. "Good news! Good news!"

"How is the loss of a whole taskforce good news?" You ask.

"We shot down an American helicopter. In the south! A flight of helicopters flew over TF Damascus and their Shilka's took one of them out and scattered the rest! The two pilots were injured and we have taken them captive."

"Good good. Keep them alive and in a secure location for now. We could need them later."

As the aide salutes and rushes away you allow a small smile to creep across your face when no one is looking. We are hitting back... in our own way.
 

Ithikial

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The radio is blasting with orders and screams echoing through the speaker. It's chaos on the southern approach. You decide to head out onto a balcony to try and get some fresh air and escape the noise however within moments a NATO jet screams overhead in a wide bank as it heads back towards the combat area.

The radio spurts back to life and the voice is different. It's calm yet excited, in a good way. You walk back inside and listen to the speaker. It's the commander of the militia unit you sent off following up on the rumour of armoured vehicles nearby.

"Good news, good news! The rumour was true. The tanks are from remnants of the forces on station near to Golan Heights and they have agreed to join us. Most of their force has already been stripped back to fight the NATO forces these past few weeks, however they have not lost heart and want to fight hard for our country."

You race to pick up the microphone. "Get them back here ASAP. Keep off the main roads."

"Agreed commander. We estimate we'll be on station after dark."
 

Ithikial

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@Bootie

As the sun sets you decide that sitting next to a radio all day isn't giving you the full picture of what is happening on the battlefield. You order your aides to prepare your Command BMP and you will tour the front.
 

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It is chaos at Syrian headquarters. Despite all the screams, there is one radio still linked to the Commander's BMP. It is pumping nothing but static and the odd muffled voices of US forces that walk by.

Abdul Salem Abbas is KIA.
 

Ithikial

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Out of the chaos a new leader has risen. A leader of the people or a local warlord?

Kaseem Shahan, is a local of this area. Before the invasion he was like many in these parts a farmer. A nobody that if circumstances had been different he would have never traveled more than 20 miles from his home. As the threat of war loomed he, along with his brother and three cousins was conscripted into the reserve army. He left his herd of goats behind and was trucked to a military training base east of Damascus. Following some basic training he was assigned to a border unit along the Iraqi border and faced the full onslaught of the British Army as it launched it's invasion.

Somehow he survived, though his brother and cousins were either dead or missing. It took him weeks traveling through the desert to reach his home. Just in time to help defend it against the invader. He had early success knocking out a NATO 'Littlebird' Helicopter that was flying low over the Syrian lines - an event that brought him some local fame. From there he has been quickly embraced by the local religious leaders who see him as a savior of the region. Where he goes people quickly chant him name seeing him as half saviour, half good luck charm.

There is some resentment in the military about this reservist gaining such a position so quickly, it will be a test to bring them to heel. For now though the people await his orders.


@Vartuoosi - The NATO players do not know you are the overall commander at this stage.
 

Ithikial

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You are scouring over the maps appearing to be deciding where to move your forces, but in reality trying to work out the difference between longitude and latitude. Suddenly there is a lot of noise and commotion as some of the militia drag in a cameraman and a female reporter. They still where blue flak jackets with 'Press' written over it. Other militia bring in a number of cases carrying their camera and sound gear. Both of the journalists are tied up.

The leading militiaman says, "They were discovered as the last engagement died down leader. They were recording our troops engaging the invaders. They say they are journalists but they must be spies. We should shoot them!"

You hold up your arms in an effort to calm the man down. "We can not always assume the worst," you reply.

"We also captured three US Marines in the engagement." A cheer around the command hut goes up with that announcement and an Iman starts to pray, thanking Allah for this victory.

One of the Syrian military officers then steps in and says, "Let my men interrogate the journalists. They aren't military and may be more forthcoming about the enemy in front of us."

@Vartuoosi Choose your action:
- (Side with the front line Militia) Shoot the 'journalists' as spies in the courtyard.
- (Side with the Syrian Military) Hand the journalists over the military commander to questioning.
- (Side with the Religious Leaders) Hold the journalists with the other military prisoners for now to use as bargaining chips if the need arises.
 

Ithikial

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As the afternoon fighting gets underway you receive some good if unexpected news. Some of your local militias fighting seperately to your command have managed to hit a series of soft logistical targets as they brought ammunition and fuel forward to the front line. NATO supply has been heavily impacted for the short term.
 

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Fighting in Damascus proper is going NATO's way. Our dear leader has chosen to attempt to flee the country and is heading your way in a small convoy. He must be allowed to escape. His escape route is planned to enter on Map 11, move through map 14, and then exit towards the west at Map 12. It is unknown if NATO is aware of this development. As the local commander, you are expected to guide them through to safety and protect them directly if they come under attack. They can travel one or two nodes per campaign turns (there are two scheduled turns left in the campaign). Moving onto map 11 is counted as moving one node. The Regime leader's escort is added onto the taskforce occupying the node as applicable.

The escape of the leader (only the leader not the full escort) will cause a large penalty for the NATO side.

We're in the end game now.

Awaiting move orders, including whether the Regime Leader's delegation moves one or two nodes.
 

Ithikial

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Fighting erupts across the north of the area. Though your mechanised force managed to engage NATO in Map 10 as intended, somehow a British force managed to slip past them during the rushed movements and is engaged you rear forces and putting the Regime Leader in potential harms way.


It may be a few days before I can create the battles due to RL commitments at work. Australia going into lockdown over the course of next week and will need to shift most of my work home as possible and organise with colleagues. You'll have a few days to determine who's fighting and support assets. Don't forget your IED's etc.
 

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You begin planning the next phase of operations. You know they are hurting, especially the Canadians. You are about to move markers on the map when one of your aides screams hysterically for you to come see him. You think for a moment that your command post is under attack but quickly realise it's not. The man is watching the television, the American news of all things. You piece together the words but the imagery is clear; something has gone badly wrong on for NATO. There are images of angry men in suits berating men in uniform.

You can't believe it but begin to call your commanders in the field. One by one they confirm that NATO forces in view are pulling back, disengaging and heading back east over the horizon.

It's over. You've held them back and inflicted untold suffering onto the western invaders. Syria stands today.
 
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