Middle EastSyria

Syria in Last 24 Hours: Sochi Agreement on Brink of Collapse

 Heavy attacks by the terrorist groups, deployed in the demilitarized zone, on the Syrian Army in the Northern and Northwestern parts of the country has pushed the Sochi Agreement to the threshold of failure.

Various terrorist groups have been pounding the Syrian army ever since the agreement was struck by Russia and Turkey, and government troops have been repelling such attacks from the demilitarized zone on a daily basis.

On Tuesday, the army targeted the movements of Kata’eb al-Izzah terrorists, deployed in the demilitarized zone, and repelled their attack on the government forces near the town of al-Latamina in Northern Hama, inflicting major losses on them.

Other units of the army fended off a heavy attack by the terrorists in the village of al-Hamamiat North of the town of Mahradah from their positions in Tal al-Sakahr region, killing and wounding a number of terrorists and forcing the militants to retreat.

In the meantime, the army men engaged in heavy fighting with the terrorists in al-Khowein region in Southeastern Idlib.

Meanwhile, the army’s artillery and missile units pounded terrorists’ positions in the small towns of al-Loweibadah, Zarzour, Um Jalala, repelling their attacks.

Now, observers believe that terrorists’ provocative measures in the region and their growing attacks on the army in Lattakia, Hama, Idlib and Aleppo provinces have pushed the Sochi Agreement to the brink of collapse.

Deir Ezzur

The Iraqi Air Force pounded a key base and a large arms depot of the ISIL terrorists in Eastern Syria near the border, inflicting tens of casualties on the terrorists on Tuesday.

The Joint Operation Command said in a statement that the Iraqi F-16 fighter jets targeted ISIL’s bases on Syria’s soil at the order of Iraq’s General Command of the Armed Forces and under the supervision of the Joint Operation Command.

The statement said that the warplanes bombed an arms and ammunition depot of ISIL-affiliated Fayalq al-Farouq in al-Souseh region in Southeastern Deir Ezzur, adding that the depot contained a large number of missiles and explosives.

It added that a sum of 10 terrorists were killed in the raid.

The statement went on to say that the fighter jets attacked al-Baqouz region in Southeastern Deir Ezzur and bombed a base of Fayalq al-Farouq, destroying different missiles and killing a sum of 30 terrorists at the base.

In the meantime, the Iraqi military forces discovered several food and arms consignments, dropped by the US military helicopters for the ISIL terrorists, at border with Syria.

The consignments included a large volume of weapons, military equipment, canned food and bottles of water and were dropped for the ISIL at Iraq-Syria border region almost a week ago.

Iraqi military forces and provincial officials have released frequent reports on similar cases of the US backup for the ISIL.

Sweida

The Syrian Army troops continued hunting the remaining pockets of the ISIL terrorists in the Eastern desert of Sweida and managed to capture a vast region as large as 380 sq/km, ending ISIL’s presence in the Southern part of the country.

The army men that captured the entire Toloul al-Safa rugged terrain on Sunday continued their mop-up operation in the Eastern desert of Sweida and seized control over more regions, including Tal Marati, Sotoh al-Mahriqahaf al-Kawaber, al-Mosaha, Jour al-Hasaan, Jour Qarimah, Mobabyat, al-Motalah, Satah al-Jamal, al-Khazrah, Soto Salmi and al-Jafajef.

The army freed a sum of 380 sq/km of land in its operation in the Eastern desert of Sweida, purging the last stronghold of ISIL in Southern Syria of the terrorist group.

A large number of ISIL terrorists, including commanders, were killed and a large volume their military equipment were destroyed in the army operation.

Quneitra

The Syrian Army’s diving team found a large volume of arms and military hardware, including Israeli-made equipment, in Lake al-Horriyah near the occupied Golan Heights in Western Quneitra, an army source reported.

The diving team, in a cleansing operation in the Southwestern Quneitra province, found a large volume of arms, ammunition and military equipment in Lake al-Horriyah near the village of al-Horriyah in Western Quneitra near the buffer zone with occupied Golan, the source said, adding that terrorist groups had left their heavy weapons in the lake before withdrawing from the region in Summer.

The source said that a number of landmines made in Israel, missiles, cannons, tanks, machineguns and munitions were found by the team in the lake.

The army has discovered a large volume of arms and ammunition, including Grade missiles, in the lake since the beginning of November.

Aleppo

Yeni Safak daily reported on Tuesday that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia allegedly dispatched troops to Syria’s Northeast, purportedly stationed with the US-led coalition.

Although there is no estimate of how many troops were posted from the two Persian Gulf countries, the claim comes at a time when Turkey could launch an operation targeting the East bank of the Euphrates River at any given moment, the daily reported.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in late October that Turkey had completed preparations for operations on the Eastern bank of Euphrates River.

 “We will trample on terror groups with more effective operations. We have finished all our preparations and plans regarding the issue,” Erdoğan said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir confirmed in April a report published in the Wall Street Journal saying that US troops in Syria could be replaced by an Arab force.

Jubeir said Riyadh was in talks with Washington about such a force.

 “We are in discussion with the US and have been since the beginning of the Syrian crisis about sending forces into Syria,” Jubeir said on Apr. 17.

“There are discussions regarding … what kind of force needs to remain in Eastern Syria and where that force would come from, and those discussions are ongoing,” he added.

Recent developments indicate that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leaning toward cooperating with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Last week, the UAE said it was negotiating the reopening of its embassy in Damascus and restoring ties with Syria.

In the meantime, massdar news recently reported that Saudi Arabia and Syria were working through back channels with the UAE’s help to reach political conciliation.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Tuesday that the Turkish Army and Ankara’s intelligence service have trained undercover militants who penetrate Kurdish areas for assassination and sabotage operations.

SOHR said that the Turkish authorities embarked on creating secret groups in regions that are under the Ankara forces’ control in Northern Aleppo to conduct operations against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River.

It went on to say that Turkish intelligence service has been overseeing the training of these new groups of militants in secret training camps in the regions that are under the control of the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield forces in Afrin and Northern Aleppo.

SOHR said that the groups’ members have gone under training to be capable of carrying out bomb attacks, assassinations and rapid exact operations.

The Observatory further said that the Turkish army has used identity cards of Syrian refugees that have left Turkey for other countries to hide its agents’ identity and to send them to operate against the SDF in Northern and Northeastern Syria.

In the mantime, a number of the SDF were killed or wounded in two attacks by unknown assailants in Manbij region in Northeastern Aleppo on Tuesday.

Armed raiders targeted a base of the SDF known as al-Mahkamah in the town of Manbij, killing 3 militias and wounding several more.

The SDF sent more gunmen to the scene following the attack, but, one of the vehicles of the convoy came under attack by unspecified attackers near the town’s general hospital, leaving a number of SDF militias killed or wounded.

Meanwhile, a number of the SDF gunmen were killed by unknown parties in Abu Qolqol region South of Manbij in recent days.

Meanwhile, Turkey-backed militants targeted again several positions of the SDF in Manbij region in Northeastern Syria on Tuesday as Turkish army says is preparing to kick off a large-scale operation against the Kurds on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River.

Turkey-affiliated Free Army militants clashed with the SDF in the village of Mohsenli Southeast of the town of Jarabulus in Northeastern Aleppo.

In the meantime, sources affiliated to the Manbij Military Council reported that gunmen of the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield forces attacked the positions of the council near a region where the Turkish and American forces carry out joint monitoring patrol to prevent any possible confrontation between the armed groups in the region.

Meanwhile, Spokesman for the Manbij Military Council Sharfan Darwish warned of bloody battle if the Turkish troops enter the region.

Field sources reported, meantime, that the SDF has dug a number of tunnels in Manbij and in its outskirts that have been connected to their bases, enabling the gunmen for a long-run battle.

Sources in Northeastern Aleppo reported that the Turkish army’s artillery units shelled SDF’s positions in the villages of Zormaqar and al-Shoyoukh, West of the town of Ein al-Arab (Kabani).

They further said that the Turkish choppers have been flying regularly over the town of Tal Abyadh in Northern Raqqa near the border with Turkey.

Hasaka

A militant-affiliated website reported on Tuesday Clashes were reported in Southern Hasaka after protesters from various Arab tribes took to the streets and called for the expulsion of the US army men and SDF from Northeastern Syria.

Baladi news website reported that protesters, mainly from the Arab al-Mahasen tribe, clashed with the US soldiers in al-Aam street in the town of al-Shadadi in Southern Hasaka after the US artillery attack killed the entire members of a family from the same tribe.

Baladi further said that a large number of civilians in al-Shadadi and in the villages of al-Hana Sharqi, al-Sarab and Saleh al-Leil in Southern Hasaka took to the streets, protesting against the US-backed SDF and SDF-affiliated security forces of Asayesh.

In the meantime, field sources reported that the protestors attacked 2 bases of Asayesh and set fire at their flags and their leaders’ photos, calling for their expulsion from their region.

They added that the SDF, in response, opened fire at the protestors and launched artillery attacks on several neighborhoods, injuring several civilians.

Idlib

A Russian outlet reported on Tuesday that Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) transferred a new consignment of chemical materials to an unspecified location in Idlib province amid attempts to stage a false-flag attack in the demilitarized zone.

The Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted well-informed sources as disclosing that Tahrir al-Sham has transferred a new consignment of poisonous materials from the town of al-Dana in Northern Idlib to an unknown destination in the province.

It further said that Tahrir al-Sham terrorists took the consignment, including 5 chlorine gas cylinders, out from a warehouse near al-Dana under severe security measure, adding that no Syrian militant has been involved in the operation.

The news agency went on to say that Tahrir al-Sham, with the cooperation of the pro-militant White Helmet Organization, has distributed a large volume of chemical materials across the demilitarized zone in Northern and Northwestern Syria to use them in a false-flag chemical attack and later raise allegation against the Damascus army and pave the ground for Western powers to attack the Syrian Army across the war-hit country.

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