Syrian War Report – May 17, 2019: Syrian Army Eliminated 45 Militants In Recent Clashes

South Front

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies in northwestern Hama eliminated at least 45 militants during the past few days, according to pro-government sources.

Lt. Col. Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Shamali of Jaysh al-Nasir, Captain Ahmed Ismail and Mohamad Najar of the Idlib Free Army and Mohammed Abdul Karim and Muayad al-Jasser of Jaysh al-Izza were among the eliminated militants.

Both Jaysh al-Nasir and the Idlib Free Army are a part of the Turkish-backed coalition of militant groups, the National Front for Liberation (NFL), while Jaysh al-Izza is known to be a key ally of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in this part of Syria.

The SAA is currently developing its advance in the area of Sheikh Sultan.

In own turn, militants targeted a truck armed with a 23mm gun, a battle tank, an ammo truck and a pick-up truck belonging to the SAA around al-Huwayz with anti-tank guided missiles.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham also claimed via its media wing that its members had shelled a “Russian operations room” in northwestern Hama with Grad rockets and artillery rounds. Pro-government source didn’t report any such incident. However, local sources said that several rockets landed in the village of al-Jarniyah injuring at least two children.

In the Homs desert, pro-government forces responded with a local security operation to the May 15 ISIS attack on SAA positions near the town of al-Sawwanah. According to the ISIS news agency Amaq, 21 SAA soldiers were killed in the incident, but this number was not confirmed by visual evidence.

A suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device exploded near a security center of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the town of Manbij in the afternoon of May 16. A SDF security officer was killed and ten civilians were injured in the attack, most likely staged by ISIS.

 

 

MILITARY SITUATION IN SYRIA ON MAY 18, 2019 (MAP UPDATE)

The Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces intercepted several unidentified aerial objects over Damascus;

  • 42 ISIS members were detained and large quantities of weapons, including more than 40 sniper rifles, were captured as a result of the SDF operation in southeastern Deir Ezzor, the group claimed;
  • Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham militants are preparing a chemical provocation in the town of Saraqib, the Russian military warned;
  • The Damascus government and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) swapped dozens of prisoners near al-Eis on May 17. HTS released nine captives including two women and a child. Damascus released twenty-seven prisoners from its jails;
  • The al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) released a new propaganda video showcasing its heavy improvised rocket-assisted munition;
  • Clashes are ongoing in northwestern Hama and northern Lattakia

Military Situation In Syria On May 18, 2019 (Map Update)

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Resistance report: Syrian Army kicks off long overdue Idlib offensive and Washington intensifies Iran threats

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

Resistance report: Syrian Army kicks off long overdue Idlib offensive and Washington intensifies Iran threats

On May 6, the Syrian Army finally kicked off the long awaited Idlib offensive to expel the US-backed Jihadists from the Idlib demilitarized zone. Having postponed the offensive for months due to Ankara’s reluctance to allow the Syrian Army to reclaim the area, Moscow and Damascus finally lost their patience after the latest Jihadist missile attack on Hmaimeem airport last week and decided to punish these terrorists once and for all. This is the first offensive that the Syrian Army and its allies are launching this year, and despite some claims that the Syrian Army offensive will target the entire Idlib Governorate, the operation will rather be limited to the so called demilitarized zone that stretches from the Al-Ghaab Plain to the Abu Dhuhour Crossing. The offensive is primarily lead by the Syrian Army in coordination with allied militias, with the Russian Air Force covering the skies, however Iranian forces will also be present to offer logistical support. Since launching the offensive, the Syrian Army has quickly managed to steamroll the terrorists in northwestern Hama, moving to capture the imperative town of Kafr Naboudeh, as they are marching towards the Al-Ghaab plain. To the west, Syrian Forces are moving to attack the remaining Jihadist-held towns in northeastern Latakia, especially targeting the imperative town of Kabbani. The Syrian Army will be successful if they can neutralize the Jihadist threat to the government held towns in the Hama and Idlib provinces, thus denying the terrorists to launch raids on these towns.

What remains to be seen now is how Ankara will react as they are deeply entrenched with the Jihadist forces across this area, having previously set up 12 “observation posts” stretching between Latakia and Aleppo provinces. It is also interesting to speculate what this offensive will mean for Ankara and its proxies, if the Syrian Army is successful. As the Jihadists lose more ground, Ankara loses influence over northwestern Syria while the SDF consolidates its hold over the land east of the Euphrates. One theory as to why Ankara has agreed to this territory could be that Moscow and Damascus have temporarily agreed to allow Ankara to launch an offensive on the SDF held territory to the east, as a way to replace the territorial losses sustained on the Idlib front. Indeed Damascus has vowed to retake every inch of Syria, but given the amount of players involved in this war and given the numerous obstacles standing in Damascus’ way, it seems that a pragmatic approach is the best way to go here. It would be preferable if eastern Syria was occupied by Ankara and its proxies rather than by Washington and its proxies due to the fact that Ankara is more likely to cooperate and strike deals with Moscow and Damascus than the insane people over in Washington.

Washington intensifies animosity towards Tehran

Another week, another threat. Washington’s threats against Iran have become a weekly ritual now as idiots Pompeo and Bolton issued new threats towards as part of Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran. Tehran had earlier warned that if Iran cannot use the strait of Hormuz, then the IRGC would close it for everyone. This prompted Washington to ramp up its threats as they sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the region, in what was described as a “clear and unmistakable message to Iran” by Bolton. He added that the decision was “in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.” Really? In this situation Iran is the aggressive one who is escalating things? The Persian Gulf is Iran’s lifeline, and Washington is looking to cut that lifeline, situated some 10 000 kilometres away from America’s eastern coastlines, yet Iran is the one that must argue for why it is not seeking war with the most aggressive evil regime the world has ever seen. On top of that the White House fool Trump issued an executive order on Wednesday, imposing new sanctions on Iran’s metal and mining sectors, with Trump even taking to Twitter to threaten anyone doing business with Iran to have their assets illegally seized by Washington. At the same time, the White House fool added that he is “looking forward to someday meeting with the leaders of Iran in order to work out an agreement and, very importantly, taking steps to give Iran the future it deserves,”

What kind of a sick statement is this? Washington truly has no limit as to how low it can sink. Do they actually believe that Tehran will capitulate and agree to humiliation? I have a hard time believing even the idiots in Washington are this stupid. They can’t seriously believe that Tehran is going to be enticed to come back to the table with these threats and sanctions imposed. As a matter of fact things in Iran is looking really bad for the proponents of the JCPOA and further negotiations with Washington and its vassals as the conservative bloc, known as “hardliners” in the West were actually proven right in their arguments that it is completely pointless to negotiate anything with the West. President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have been facing a lot of scrutiny in Iran lately for their naïve belief that this deal would thaw relations with the West, and even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has vocally criticized the deal in several speeches this year. As conservatives gain more ground in Iran, a fact I suspect Washington fully understands, Tehran is eyeing the only option remaining now: confrontation. It is either that or lying down and accepting death and defeat. The only conclusion I can draw from this mess is that Washington is actively looking for war. They want to provoke Tehran into a first strike so that they can start a larger regional war not only against Iran but also Tehran’s allies in Hezbollah and the Iraqi militias in a bid to destroy the entire resistance to the Zionist empire altogether.

This week also saw Iran informing the five remaining signatories to the JCPOA of its decision to suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the multinational agreement, exactly one year after Washington unilaterally abandoned the agreement. I am amazed over the amount of self-restraint and patience exercised by Tehran since Washington’s exit from the deal last year, as Tehran has given the remaining signatories almost 12 months’ time to compensate for Washington’s withdrawal and guarantee the survival of the deal. Nevertheless, no measures to blunt the impact of economic sanctions re-imposed on Tehran have been taken by the remaining signatories. Not only is the Islamic Republic entitled to suspend the implementation of the deal, but it also has the right to withdraw from it altogether, what is the point of remaining in the deal when the main reason for entering it is now all but gone?

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council has also given the remaining signatories 60 days to meet their commitments, and if they fail to address Tehran’s concerns, Tehran will suspend the implementation of two more commitments under the JCPOA. Unsurprisingly, the EU immediately rejected the ultimatum and expressed “great concern” about Iran’s decision. In a statement issued on May 9, top EU diplomats said “We reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran’s compliance on the basis of Iran’s performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA and the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons). In this respect, we recall the key role of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) monitoring and verification of the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments.”

In the statement, the Europeans further expressed regret about the re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran and said they would stay fully committed to “the preservation and full implementation” of the JCPOA, which they described as “a key achievement of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, which is in the security interest of all.”

What a pathetic statement. When Washington withdrew from the deal, no one dared to even say a word, but when Tehran seeks to suspend some of its implementation after having been betrayed, the EU wants to “assess Iran’s compliance?” The EU has had a year to come up with a plan to continue the deal despite Washington’s withdrawal, but do not have the guts to stand up to Washington’s criminal behaviour of unilateral sanctions and threats. Instead all they have done is to talk nonsense and issue poor statements about their so called “commitments”. Washington has threatened to sanction anyone doing business with Iran, this includes its European vassals, why should Iran believe that the EU would dare to stand up to Washington and risk being slapped with sanctions themselves for the sake of Tehran? Ayatollah Khamenei previously warned that he does not trust the Europeans and has no faith in their promises, he is absolutely right as he fully understands that the EU has no will of its own and are a bunch of cowards who let Washington dictate their interests.

Tehran has nothing more to lose than it already has here, why remain in a deal that leaves Tehran without the deterrence of nuclear weapons and still be sanctioned? This situation is even worse than the one before the JCPOA deal. I usually don’t agree with the conservative bloc on foreign policy matters, but I see no other choice here for Tehran to guarantee its own survival in the face of Washington’s relentless aggression and criminal behaviour.

Army conducts operations against al-Nusra terrorists in northern area

ST

Friday, 10 May 2019 14:56

Idleb/Hama – Syrian Arab Army’s units on Friday inflicted heavy losses upon terrorists in retaliation to their violations of the de-escalation zone agreement.

SANA said that army units carried out intensive operations against Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists’ movements from Khan Sheikhoun in Idleb countryside towards the liberated areas in Hama northern countryside, and Kafar Sajnah and al-Sheikh Moustafa in Idleb southern countryside, killing or injuring scores of them, and destroying their dens and fortified points.

The army units also conducted operations against the terrorists’ gatherings in Abdeen, Hirsh al-Qassabin, killing or injuring many of the terrorists and destroying their gatherings.

 

SANA said that the army units responded to terrorists’ attacks and launched intensive strikes on directions of their movement in Kafar Zita, al-Latamina, Hasraya, al-Zakat, al-Sayyad and al-ASrba’en in Hama countryside.

The army units, SANA added, destroyed vehicles for Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists between Abdeen and Kafar Naboudah towns.

The army units also thwarted terrorists’ attack on the military points in the areas of al-Hamamiyat and Kafar Naboudah in the northern countryside of Hama.

A number of the terrorists were either killed or injured during the army’s strikes, while the others fled towards the north deep in the southern countryside of Idleb.

Video footage of Qal’at Al-Madiq after Syrian Army seizes historical town

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:40 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured the historical town of Qal’at Al-Madiq on Thursday after a short battle with the jihadist and Turkish-backed rebels in northwestern Hama.

Following the capture of Qal’at Al-Madiq, the Syrian Army seized four more towns from the jihadist rebels, forcing the latter to fall back north towards the Al-Ghaab Plain.

Below is a video of the Syrian Army inside of Qal’at Al-Madiq after they seized the town from the militant forces:

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Syrian War Report – May 8, 2019: Syrian Army Liberates Another Town In Northwestern Hama

South Front

By May 8, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies had repelled a series of counter-attacks by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-led forces keeping control of all the positions captured in northwestern Hama. Especially intense clashes took place near Tell Ottman where, according to pro-government sources, the SAA eliminated at least 5 militants.

Despite this, the SAA has not been able to develop on its success and push further into the militant-held area. An initial attempt to advance in the direction of Kafr Nabuda was repelled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its radical counterparts.

In the morning of May 8, the SAA advanced on Kafr Nabuda and entered the village. Clashes are ongoing.

The Damascus government employed only a limited force in this area. This means that the SAA is likely focussing on limited operations to neutralize the militant threat in particular parts of the de-militarized zone rather than undertaking a major advance on Idlib.

If the SAA adopts this kind of strategy, it will likely attempt to pull apart the militants’ strike force in Hama and Idlib through a series of tactical advances and to make gains in areas where their defense is weakened.

Meanwhile in northeastern Syria, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have continued their steady operations against existing ISIS cells on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River. The SDF is also working to strengthen its positions on the contact line with the government-controlled area. After the collapse of Trump’s determination to withdraw US forces from the country, the US-backed group once again believes in its ability to establish a pseudo-state under Washington’s protection in this part of Syria.

US-Iranian tensions are growing amid speculations by mainstream media outlets that Iran is preparing to strike US troops deployed in the Middle East. Security Adviser John Bolton also announced that the US is deploying a carrier strike group and a strategic bomber task force to “deter” Iran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced this behavior saying that “If US and clients don’t feel safe, it’s because they’re despised by the people of the region” and “blaming Iran” will not help with this.

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Syria Military Operation to Liberate Idlib Has Begun. Estimated 40,000 Terrorists in Idlib

The last terrorist-held territory under attack

Global Research, May 08, 2019

The zero-hour has arrived in Idlib, as the long awaited military operations to clear the last remaining terrorist-controlled area in Syria has begun.  It is estimated that there are 40,000 terrorists, some with their families, and they comprise many different terrorist groups, which are now aligned under one umbrella.  Colonel Suheil Al-Hassan of the Tiger Forces is part of the ground forces advancing on the province, in the wake of air strikes.   Idlib’s population, about 2 million today, has changed since 2011.

Idlib was one of the first areas infiltrated by the Radical Islamic political ideology of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).  The very first murder in Idlib by the Syrian ‘rebels’ in 2011 was the pharmacist Dr. Samir Kanatry, who was killed and then burnt up inside his pharmacy in August 2011 at Ma’arat Numan.  He was murdered because he was advocating secular values.  The US-backed FSA were sectarian from the outset, and any secular political ideals were their enemy.

The majority of Syrians do not support armed revolution in order to create a new sectarian based Syrian government. The ‘rebels’ only hope was to incite a military intervention by US-NATO forces based on a fabricated story of a chemical attack.  They tried this ploy repeatedly, and it never succeeded.  Even aligning them with Al Qaeda didn’t work, as the FSA and Al Qaeda developed their own ‘wars’ amongst themselves.

Beginning in 2011 many residents of Idlib fled: some to Latakia as a safe-haven from the ‘rebels’, who by then were clearly acting as terrorists.  Some of the residents of Idlib sided with the terrorists, and yet others fled to Turkey which is close by, with promises not only of safety, but financial support, and possible long term benefits from Turkish citizenship and income.

The current residents in Idlib are a very mixed bag: almost 4,000 of them are Chinese citizens. They are Uyghers from the far West of China, which is a Turkic speaking Muslim population.  Pres. Erdogan of Turkey inticed them to come to Turkey on passports he had issued, and then cross the border into Syria.  He supported their Jihad to Syria, and they brought parents, wives, and children and they are well-armed.   Pres. Erdogan sees the Uyghurs as ‘long lost cousins’, sharing the same root language as modern Turkey.

The “White Helmets” are in Idlib, too.  This award-winning video troop has been evacuated from other terrorist areas which were cleared by the SAA.

Why are the “White Helmets” (WH) only in areas under terrorist control?

Why have we never seen any WH rescuing people in places that were targeted by the ‘rebels’?  Recently, a missile fell on the Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia and destroyed a home: why weren’t the WH there to pull the injured from the rubble?

Raed Saleh, the main organizer of the WH recently spoke with National Public Radio in the USA, and he said,

“The revolution still goes on.  We have not lost. This revolution continues.”

He also admitted that his group still receives funding from the US government.  It appears his focus is not helping to rescue people or any humanitarian project: his goal is a “revolution”.  This proves the group is not neutral, or humanitarian.

They work strictly within a political framework that was developed by the US-NATO organizers of the destruction of Syria.  The question not asked of him by NPR is: “How much support does the revolution have among the current population in Syria?”  The majority of Syrian citizens who have never left Syria, and have endured 8 years of armed conflict, want peace.  They want to rebuild their lives, homes, and businesses.

Russia and Turkey entered into a de-escalation agreement on Idlib last year.  This agreement was supposed to entail the Al Qaeda affiliates, as well as ISIS and all other recognized terrorist groups, moving away from civilian areas, thus allowing forces to target and eliminate terrorists, while protecting innocent civilians.  However, the agreement did not cause the separation of the innocent from the terrorists.

In fact, some terrorist groups fought with each other and innocent civilians were killed and injured, as well as some armed groups made new alliances that moved their designation from ‘rebels’ to terrorists.  Many people wondered why would Russia and Turkey make a pact to safeguard and protect armed groups?  Turkey has always been a supporter of the armed groups, including Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, Jibhat al Nusra, which is the leading force occupying Idlib.

Idlib residents are Americans, French, Belgian, Australian, British, North African, and Saudi Arabian.  Some are Syrians but were originally from Aleppo, Deraa, Homs, East Ghouta and other locations far removed from Idlib. The Syrians living in Idlib today were mainly bussed to Idlib, as their areas fell to the SAA, and they chose to live in exile in Idlib rather than surrender and resume peaceful life.

The Western media warns of the largest humanitarian disaster waiting to happen in Idlib if the SAA and its Russian allies take the area.  One wonders where the Western media was when those terrorists in Idlib shot missiles repeatedly at Kessab, Latakia, Slonfa, Hama, Aleppo, Jeblah, and M’Hardeh.  Where were the cries about deaths, injuries, and loss of property such as schools, and homes in places targeted by the terrorists?

In fact, many industries which lay on the perimeter of Idlib are unable to recover or rebuild, even though peace is restored, because they live under the threat of missile and drone attacks, launched by the terrorists who are protected in Idlib.  An example is Kessab, which was attacked, destroyed and occupied in March 2014 by the FSA and Al Qaeda.  The Christian village is far from Idlib, yet the missiles still land there and have landed in the school while children were playing.

America and her western allies, including the Arab Gulf monarchies, have the policy to prevent Syria from peaceful recovery and rebuilding.   They are demanding ‘regime-change’ prior to rebuilding, even though they lost the war.  Once Idlib is retaken by the SAA, the US-NATO project for the “New Syria” made in their image will be declared dead.

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عمليّات الجيش مستمرّة: النار تعيد رسم «توافقات إدلب»

 صهيب عنجريني
الأربعاء 8 أيار 2019

عمليّات الجيش مستمرّة: النار تعيد رسم «توافقات إدلب»

تؤشّر كثافة نشاط الطيران الحربي على أنّ تخفيض وتيرة العمليات ونطاقها غير مطروح حاليّاً (أ ف ب )

عمليّات الجيش مستمرّة: النار تعيد رسم «توافقات إدلب»

نتائج اليومين الأولين من العمليات تمنح الجيش أفضليّة قطع طرق الإمداد بين قلعة المضيق (ريف حماة الشمالي الغربي)، وبلدة كفرنبودة (ريف حماة الشمالي الشرقي). وتبدو الأخيرة وجهةً مرجحة لعمليات الجيش في الأيام المقبلة، كما يشكل مثلث «مورك، كفرزيتا، اللطامنة» (على المحور المقابل) هدفاً بالغ الأهمية. وتؤشّر كثافة نشاط الطيران الحربي المتزايدة على أنّ تخفيض وتيرة العمليات ونطاقها غير مطروح حاليّاً، بل يبدو أنّ الاستعدادات قد استُكملت على عدد من المحاور الأخرى لتدشين عمليّات بريّة باتت في انتظار «الساعة الصفر».

ومن المنتظر أن تُشكل الضغوط الداخلية التركية عاملاً يحدّ فعالية أنقرة في التأثير بعمليات الجيش السوري راهناً، في ظل انشغال الرئيس رجب طيب أدروغان، وحزبه، في معركة إعادة الانتخابات البلدية في إسطنبول، وتزايد التحدّيات الاقتصاديّة المرتبطة باستقرار الليرة التركيّة. مع كل ما تقدّم، لا يمكن الحديث عن «عملية شاملة» تطمح إلى استعادة كامل إدلب في الوقت الراهن، لا بسبب صعوبة تدشين معركة بهذا الحجم فحسب، بل بفعل التداخلات السياسية الدولية المتوقّعة. ومن المرجّح أنّ السيطرة على «المنطقة المنزوعة السلاح» المُفترضة تُشكل هدفاً أساسياً لعمليات الجيش السوري في مرحلتها الراهنة. ويعزّز ذلك حرص وسائل الإعلام الرسميّة على إدراج عمليات الأيام الأخيرة في إطار «الرد على خروق الإرهابيين».

من دون تقديم نفي أو تأكيد، يشدد مصدر عسكري سوري على أنّ «خريطة عمليات الجيش السوري واضحة منذ زمن طويل، وهي تشمل كلّ المناطق الخاضعة لسيطرة الإرهابيين». ويؤكد المصدر أن «العلم السوري سيرفرف في كل تلك المناطق، السؤال فقط هو: متى؟ والجواب تقرّره القيادة في كل مرحلة، وترون نتائجه في الميدان». في الوقت نفسه، يحرص المصدر على القول إنّ «الجيش قادرٌ على نزع الأسلحة الثقيلة والخفيفة ومن يحملها ما دامت الاتفاقات حبراً على ورق، وإنّ الإرهابيين توهّموا قدرتهم على فرض أمر واقع».

وترجع آخر محاولة روسية ــ تركية، لإنقاذ «تفاهمات سوتشي» إلى آذار/مارس الماضي، حين أُعلن تسيير «دوريات مشتركة». وتكفّل وقت قصير في تظهير حقيقة أنّ المسألة لم تعدُ كونها محاولة تركيّة لـ«شراء الوقت»، ليبوء «تسيير الدوريات» بالفشل بعد أن أحجمت (أو عجزت) أنقرة عن فرضه (راجع «الأخبار» 9 آذار 2018). وحتى الآن، لا تعكس كواليس المجموعات المسلّحة (ولا سيّما «هيئة تحرير الشام») استعداداً لـ«تدارك ما فات» سلميّاً، والرضوخ لفكرة الدوريات المشتركة، وإفراغ «المناطق المنزوعة السلاح». على العكس من ذلك، تؤكد مصادر «جهاديّة»، في حديث إلى «الأخبار»، أنّ «النيّة معقودة على استعادة كل المناطق التي انحاز عنها المجاهدون (في إشارة إلى البانة والجنابرة وتل عثمان الاستراتيجي)». وحتى الآن، يُشكل تكثيف عمليات الجيش السوري عائقاً يحول دون قدرة «تحرير الشام» على شنّ عمليات هجوميّة في محاور أخرى، بغية تخفيف الضغط عن مناطق ريف حماة الشمالي، لكنّ هذا الخيار يظل حاضراً في حسابات «تحرير الشام» وحلفائها.

الأمم المتحدة تطالب بـ«العودة إلى سوتشي»

طالب الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة، أنطونيو غوتيريش، بـ«ضرورة حماية المدنيين في إدلب». وأعرب بيان صادر عن المتحدث باسم غوتيريتش عن القلق «إزاء الهجمات الجوية التي استهدفت مواقع تمركز المدنيين والبنى التحتية، وما نجم عنها من مقتل وجرح مئات المدنيين ونزوح أكثر من 150 ألف شخص». ودعا البيان جميع الأطراف إلى «إعادة التزام ترتيبات وقف إطلاق النار ومذكرة التفاهم الموقعة في 17 أيلول 2018». بدوره، حذّر «مكتب الأمم المتحدة لحقوق الإنسان» من المخاطر التي «تحيق بمئات آلاف النازحين في شمال حماة وجنوب إدلب في ظل التصعيد العسكري الأخير». وقالت المتحدثة باسم المكتب، رافينا شمداساني، إن «الفارين من الأعمال العدائية معرضون لخطر كبير ويواجهون مخاوف خطيرة تتعلق بالحماية على طول الطريق».

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Syrian War Report – May 7, 2019: Multiple Casualites Reported Amid Clashes In Northwestern Hama

South Front

On May 6, air defenses of Russia’s Hmeimim airbase in Syria repelled two militant rocket attacks intercepting at least 36 projectiles, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.

According to the defense ministry, the attacks caused no damage or casualties. Militants had used a unmanned aerial vehicle to direct their fire.

The shelling came from the Idlib de-escalation zone, which included the militant-held parts of Latakia, Idlib, Hama and Aleppo provinces. The Russian Aerospace Forces carried out strikes on militant positions in response to the attack.

According to pro-government and pro-militant sources, Russian warplanes struck two dozen of targets in northern Hama and southern Idlib on May 6 and continued striking militant positions on May 7.

The situation is developing in northwestern Hama where the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Tiger Forces and their allies launched an advance on positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Jaish al-Izza and other militant groups on May 6.

Initially, government troops seized several points north and northwest of Kernaz and forced militants to retreat towards Kafr Nabudah.

However, by the evening, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-led forces had launched a counter-attack attempting to recapture the lost positions. In the morning of May 7, clashes continued.

Pro-militant sources released multiple conflicting reports urging that from 20 to 80 pro-government fighters were killed, and militants destroyed or captured at least 2 pieces of military equipment. Most of these claims are a part of the ongoing propaganda war. According to pro-government sources, up to 20 militants were killed. This number also remains unconfirmed.

Additionally, clashes and artillery duels took place in western Aleppo where some civilian casualties were reported.

According to reports, the Turkish Armed Forces had retreated from their observation post in Qalaat al-Madiq amid an intense fighting in northwestern Hama. This may indicate that Ankara is expecting a further escalation in the nearby area.

However, if the SAA focuses its efforts on a short part of the frontline and employs a limited force only for this purpose, it’s unlikely that it will achieve any major gains.

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