Syrian Army encircles Daesh terrorists in Mayadin
Syria’s Army and its allies have encircled the Takfiri terror group of Daesh in the city of al-Mayadin in the country’s northeastern Dayr al-Zawr Province.
The Takfiri group maintains pockets in the province, and is said to be fighting a losing battle to retain the provincial capital of the same name, which is its last major stronghold in the Arab country.
“Units of our armed forces with the allied forces continue their advance on a number of fronts and axes in Dayr al-Zawr and its countryside…and encircle Daesh terrorists in the city of al-Mayadin,” a military source told Reuters.
The Army and its allies reached Dayr al-Zawr in September after a months-long offensive across the country’s central desert area.
Separately, Syria’s War Media released a video on Monday showing the Army advancing against terrorist positions in the sprawling central Homs Province, while Russian aircraft were carrying out umbrella operations overhead.
Turkey, HTS firefight
Also on Sunday, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said Turkish forces had exchanged fire with the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Takfiri group on the border with Syria’s Idlib Province.
The HTS is dominated by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, which has renamed itself from al-Nusra Front or al-Qaeda’s Syria offshoot.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Saturday that militants supported by his country would be leading a military campaign against the HTS in the northwestern province.
Speaking of the pending operation, a commander with the militants said, “The aim of the operation is to implement the Astana agreement by setting up Turkish observation posts similar to those of Russia.”
“This cannot be achieved without confronting the Nusra Front,” said Fares al-Bayoush in an exchange of text messages with The Associated Press, noting, “The aim is to finish Nusra Front.”
Turkey, who sides with the militants, and Russia and Iran, who back the Syrian government, have been mediating talks between Damascus and Syria’s political and armed opposition in the Kazakh capital of Astana since early 2017.
The talks have led to establishment of four de-escalation zones in the Arab country towards curtailing violence.
The fourth zone is located in Idlib, with its perimeter marked out only on paper.
The aim of the Turkish operation on Sunday still remains unclear, with the country’s officials not indicating yet whether it is part for their preparation for de-escalation activities.