Syria

Syria in Past 24 Hours: Large Army Convoy Moves to Eastern Deir Ezzur

The Syrian Army sent another large military convoy to Eastern Deir Ezzur as it continued to build up forces in the Euphrates River Valley.

Deir Ezzur

According to a military communiqué, the army sent a large convoy from Eastern Homs to the Eastern regions in Deir Ezzur, al-Massdar news reported.

The military convoy was comprised of soldiers from the Russian-trained 5th Legion, which has participated in several battles against the ISIL in Eastern Syria.

The recent buildup of Syrian military troops East of the Euphrates comes just days after US President Donald Trump announced that his nation’s armed forces were withdrawing from Syria.

Aleppo

A fierce clash broke out between the Turkish-backed rebels and Kurdish-led fighters in Northern Aleppo.

The clashes reportedly erupted on Tuesday afternoon after the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) attacked Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) positions near the border-town of ‘Azaz.

No casualties or advances have been reported by either side.

This is the second time in the last week that the Kurdish forces and Turkish-backed rebels have clashed at this front in Northern Aleppo.

With the Turkish military’s upcoming invasion of the Eastern regions of the Euphrates River Valley approaching, their allied forces on the ground have become increasingly hostile towards he Kurdish forces along the border.

Also in the past 24 hours, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) handed over the control of a town located Southwest of Manbij to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), a military source said.

According to the source, the Syrian Democratic Forces handed over the town of Al-‘Arimeh to the Syrian Arab Army as they take security precautions ahead of the Turkish military’s incursion in the Manbij region, the AMN reported.

The source added that the Syrian Arab Army is in contact with some members of the Syrian Democratic Forces in Manbij; however, there is no agreement to allow them to enter the town, nor was the transfer of this town considered a move towards handing over Manbij.

Manbij is strategically important to the Syrian military because of its proximity to Aleppo city and the Euphrates River.

The town is also located along the key Aleppo-Raqqa Highway; if lost, the Syrian Army and Kurdish-led forces will no longer have a direct route to the provincial capital of Raqqa province.

Homs

Members of several Syrian opposition armed units are ready to lay down their arms and surrender to the Syrian army once the US troops and their allies leave the Al-Tanf base in Southeastern Syria.

The Surya Al’an news portal reported that a large number of militants stationed in a 55-wide area around Al-Tanf have expressed readiness to surrender and make reconciliation agreements with the Syrian authorities.

At the same time, field commanders from the Maqawir al-Thawra brigade, trained by US and British instructors, have demanded a safe passage to take their forces to Northern Syria. The brigade comprises about 6,000 militants.

Troops deployed to the base control a strategically important highway connecting Damascus and Baghdad.

On December 19, Trump ordered a full withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

 “After historic victories against ISIL, it’s time to bring our great young people home!” he said.

More than 2,000 US troops are currently deployed to Syria. According to US officials, the troop pullout will take 60 to 100 days.

Hama

A Syrian soldier was killed and another four were injured due to shelling by terrorists in the Syrian province of Hama, head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Center for Syrian reconciliation Lt. Gen. Sergei Solomatin said.

“Over the past day, terrorists mortared Bsharfa (two times), Beyt-Zivan (two times), Nahshabba (two times), Sandran, Darh-abu-Asad and Jubb-al-Zarour in the Lattakia province, Abu-Dali (three times), Tell Bizam, Magayr, Zalaqiyat and Tall-Maraq in the Hama province, and Western (two times) and Northwestern (two times) outskirts of Aleppo. One Syrian serviceman was killed and four were wounded as a result of the attack on Tell Bizam,” Solomatin was quoted by Sputnik as saying.

According to the Russian official, the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation had carried out two humanitarian operations over the past 24 hours, in the settlement of Mukhayam-al-Yarmouk in the province of Damascus and in the settlement of Harym in the province of Lattakia.

The official pointed out that the efforts aimed at recovery of the Syrian infrastructure had been continued.

“As for December 24, 2018, 30,914 houses, 713 educational facilities and 122 medical centers have been recovered. Besides, 926 kilometers (some 575 miles) of roads have been repaired,” Solomatin said.

Damascus

The Israeli Air Force bombed a Syrian military installation in Western Damascus.

According to a source from the Syrian military, the Israeli Air Force bombed a weapons depot inside the town of Qatana, causing significant damage to the site, al-Massdar news reported.

The source said that at least three soldiers were wounded as a result of the attack, but no one was killed.

He would add that most of the Israeli missiles were shot down by the Syrian air defense forces before they could reach the weapons depot in Qatana.

The Israeli jets had reportedly entered Lebanese airspace before attacking their targets in Qatana.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) alleged that a Syrian missile was fired into their territory, prompting them to activate their air defenses.

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