Amid the bloodshed in Syria, a new enemy has appeared

The command of the SAA at first in an ultimatum form suggested that the opposition units retreat to their starting lines. But those, not paying attention to the legal requirements of Damascus, proceeded to the engineering equipment of their positions.


The original article has been published in Nezavisimaya gazeta. Translation and editing by Defenseweek’s team.

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Units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) attacked the positions of Islamists simultaneously on several sectors of the front. Assad’s troops took decisive action after the militants refused to leave the security zones previously agreed by Moscow and Ankara in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo.

At the same time, Russian aviation carried out several preemptive raids against Islamist fighters along the M4 highway connecting Aleppo and Latakia. In the north of the country, the Turkish military fired on the combat guard posts of SAA and Kurdish militias. The militants of the “Islamic State” executed hostages. Another US military convoy arrived from Iraq in the neighboring Syrian province of Hasaka. Damascus reports the spread of coronavirus in Syria.

Recent violations of the ceasefire in the Idlib zone were mainly initiated by the Syrian opposition, whose units had previously occupied areas that, by agreement, should be transferred to Damascus’s control in the south-west of Idlib province in the area of ​​Jabal Az-Zawiya heights and in the south West of the governorate (province) of Aleppo.

The command of the SAA at first in an ultimatum form suggested that the opposition units retreat to their starting lines. But those, not paying attention to the legal requirements of Damascus, proceeded to the engineering equipment of their positions.

With several swift strikes, SAA units overthrew militant units that were forced to retreat north in a hurry. Fights this time were fought in rural areas and practically did not affect the settlements.

Russian aviation is constantly monitoring the situation in the security lane, which runs along the M4 highway connecting Aleppo and Latakia. Airplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces record the presence of militants in the specified zone and transmit information to troops operating on the ground. If necessary, strike aircraft are used to influence gangs, a military source in Damascus reports.

Recall that in accordance with the Moscow agreement of March 5 this year, all formations of the armed opposition were supposed to move 6 km north of the M4 highway before March 12. At the request of Turkey, this action was extended until March 31, but the militants have not yet complied with the requirements presented to them.

Their groups impede the work of maintaining the security regime of joint Russian-Turkish military patrols. Responsibility for the actions of the militants lies with Ankara, since the militants should have retreated to the agreed 6 km to the north. Moreover, the Turkish military are too active in the engineering equipment of their strong points in the Idlib zone and are transferring additional forces and assets here.

At the same time, Turkish troops carry out military actions in the north of the left-bank part of the country (behind the Euphrates). The Turkish Ministry of Defense announced the neutralization of several Kurdish militia fighters (People’s Defense Units – YPG) in the north of the provinces of Ar-Raqqa and Hasak last weekend. In particular, it was stated that “the two YPG terrorists who opened harassing fire were neutralized in the area of ​​the Euphrates Shield operation, and another five YPG terrorists were neutralized when they tried to enter the operation zone “Peaceful spring.”

Ankara confined itself to this mean message only. Details of what happened from the Turkish military department were not received.

The Syrian side, in turn, confirms that the Turkish military is excessively aggressive in these areas and their actions go beyond the ceasefire agreement in these areas. It is reported by the Syrian government news agency SANA.

On Saturday, April 4, Turkish military and pro-Turkish opposition forces launched artillery shelling at SAA strongholds located in the area of ​​Ein Issa, in the northern part of Ar Raqqah. Information about the losses in the ranks of the SAA has not been received. However, earlier, during a similar shelling, two Syrian troops were killed.

Around the same time, near the city of Tal Abyad, the Turks attacked the post of military guard of the Kurdish militia “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF). A source in Damascus claims that there were no provocations against the Turkish troops from the SAA and SDF.

The pro-Turkish partisans once again destroyed a section of the high-voltage line in the area of ​​the city of Tel Tamr (Khasaka province), the vast densely populated area was again without electricity. “The Turkish occupation forces destroyed the line number 66 in the Um al-Keif district, which feeds the power station of the city of Tel Tamr, which led to a power outage and deprived the inhabitants of the city of Tel Tamr and the surrounding areas,” said Anwar CEO Al-Oaklya to SANA.

In the same place, in the province of Hasaka, militants of the pro-Turkish police committed sabotage at the water station “Alluk” and disabled it. This facility supplies water to an area with a population of more than 500 thousand people.

Damascus informs about the activation of underground IG groups in the provinces of Homs, Ar-Raqqa, Hasaka and Deir Ez-Zor. Here, the militants of the “black caliphate” are engaged in kidnapping, this is a typical way of making money for terrorists. For intimidation, they executed eight civilians captured in the area of ​​the city of Maadan. The units of this group have recently increased the number of attacks on settlements and military patrols in the central part of the country.

This region is a desert territory, Bedouin tribes live here, having related branches in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. According to the Russian General Staff, most of these tribes to one degree or another provide support to the Islamic State. The militants of the “black caliphate” also make sorties in Zaevfrat, which is under the control of US troops and Kurdish militias. A source receiving information from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, on an anonymity basis, told that the Americans are attracting not only Kurds, but also representatives of the Arab militia, who are being trained at the US military base Et-Tanf, to protect oil mines in left-bank Syria.

Among them are many immigrants from Iraq, including those who fought for IS. In fact, the Americans themselves are sending people to Zaevfrati who are ready at any time, at their discretion, to raise the black banner of the pseudo-caliphate.

The same source said that the United States only made statements about the withdrawal of its troops from Syria, in fact, they rotate and, if necessary, strengthen their military contingent in this country. From time to time, informants in the eastern part of the country report the movement of US military convoys from Iraq to Syria.

Last week, a convoy of 35 trucks with marching guards went to the Hasaka province through the Al-Walid border crossing (Al-Yarubiya region). Already on Syrian territory, the convoy split up, and most of the cars headed to the Kharab Al-Jir airfield in the area of ​​Al-Malikiya. This US Air Force base is used as a jumping point for operations in the sky over Syria. Where the second, smaller part of the column went is unknown.

Syria was among the countries affected by coronavirus infection. In this regard, Damascus took tough measures. “On, the decision on the ban on movement between the provinces adopted by the Council of Ministers on March 29, which will last until April 16 as part of measures to combat the spread of coronavirus,” came into force, SANA reported.

The republic, located between a rock and a hard place, was attacked by another very dangerous enemy. [end]