US soldiers allegedly wounded in attack by unknown group in east Syria: SANA

By News Desk -2020-05-27

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:00 P.M.) – Three American soldiers and  five members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were wounded in an attack on a joint convoy of them on the administrative border between the governorates of Al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor this week, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported, citing “local sources”.

According to SANA’s sources, a joint convoy of U.S. and SDF personnel was attacked by unknown assailants on Tuesday, as the latter allegedly used machine guns and RPG launchers against them at the Ruwaishid junction.

SANA said the eight injured were taken to the American base in Al-Shaddadi, a city located in the southern countryside of the Al-Hasakah Governorate.

Neither the U.S. Coalition nor the Syrian Democratic Forces have reported this attack to corroborate the claims by SANA.

The last time an attack like this was reported, the U.S. Coalition vehemently denied that any of its forces were wounded or killed, while adding that it was “fake news”.

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ISIS TERRORISTS ATTACK SYRIAN ARMY NEAR AL-SUKHNA

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About 2 dozen Turkish-backed militants have been killed or wounded in a recent series of clashes in northern Syria. 14 of them were reportedly killed in a failed attack on positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Kubrlik overnight on May 17 and up to 10 were killed or injured in clashes near Hazwan on May 15. Reacting to its own failures, Turkish-backed forces carried out a series of mortar and artillery strikes on SDF positions near Ayn Issa, Tall Tamr and Tall Unayb on May 16, May 17 and early on May 18.

Firefights and artillery duels between Turkish-backed forces and the SDF regularly erupt in this part of Syria. However, both sides do not conduct large-scale offensive operations against each other and despite the violations the ceasefire regime formally remains in force.

On May 17, seven former ISIS members fled the SDF-controlled camp of al-Hawl in the province of al-Hasakah, which holds a large number of the former ISIS fighters and their families. Following the incident, SDF security forces in the area were placed on a high alert. The search operation has been ongoing. Some pro-Kurdish sources claim that the fleeing terrorists have been already detained, but these calms remain unconfirmed. This is the second security incident in al-Hawl in less than 10 days. On May 13, SDF security forces foiled a plot of ISIS wives to set the camp on fire and flee to Turkey.

Early on May 18 reports appeared that a drone strike allegedly struck the area near a convoy of the Syrian Army in the district of Maadan in Raqqa province. Several Syrian Army soldiers were reportedly wounded. It remains unclear who was behind the attack, but the two main suspects are Turkey and the US-led coalition.

On May 17, US armoured vehicles chased in the province of al-Hasakah a Russian military convoy with 150 tones of humanitarian aid being sent to civilians in northeastern Syria, but were unable to stop it.

A firefight between the Syrian Army and ISIS members erupted near the town of al-Sukhna, on the Homs-Deir Ezzor highway. According to reports, ISIS cells tried to cut off the road, but were forced to retreat. Regular attacks by ISIS cells operating in the desert area remain a notable security threat for government forces.

At the same time, the situation in Greater Idlib once again de-escalated. After failing to capture Tanjarah in northwestern Hama last week, al-Qaeda-linked groups reduced their activity on the frontline. Despite this, it’s highly likely that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies will conduct more limited attempts to expand their zone of control in southern Idlib and western Hama in the coming weeks.

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RUSSIAN FIGHTER JETS BUZZ US SPY PLANES OFF SYRIAN COAST

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On April 20, gunmen attacked a vehicle of the US-led coalition moving along the road near the village of Roueished in the province of al-Hasakah. Syrian state media reported that the vehicle was destroyed and several US service members were injured in the attack. The US-led coalition has not officially commented on these claims yet.

This became the second report of this kind, which appeared in media this month. On April 6, Hezbollah-linked al-Mayadeen TV said that militants killed a US soldier and several members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. If these attacks really took place, it is likely that the supposed US soldiers killed in the attacks were in fact US-linked private military contractors. Therefore, the Pentagon does not report them as casualties among US personnel.

Syrian security forces seized weapon caches belonging to radical militants near Damascus and Quneitra. The seized weapons and equipment included a Malutka anti-tank missile, several RPG rounds, machine guns, mortars, hand grenades, satellite broadcasting and telecommunications devices, medical equipment and even several cars.

The Damascus countryside and the southern part of Syria have been for long time formally liberated from terrorists. Nonetheless, government forces regularly face various kinds of terrorist activity in these areas. Terrorist cells operating there receive support from the militant held parts of northern and western Syria, and the terrorist threat cannot be fully removed as long as these areas remain in the hands of radical militant groups protected by Turkey.

On April 19 and April 15, Russian fighter jets intercepted US Navy P-8A Poseidon spy planes off the Syrian coast. The increased US reconnaissance activity in the eastern Mediterranean often comes ahead and ahead of the escalation of the conflict. It is possible the Washington leadership also believes that the military situation in Greater Idlib also has chances to explode in the near future.

Since the signing of the March 5 de-escalation agreement in Moscow, Turkey and Russia have achieved no progress in its implementation besides the establishing ceasefire regime in southern and eastern Idlib. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other radical groups used the pause to fortify their positions in the region. Turkey also used this time to deploy additional troops and equipment there. Ankara’s actions demonstrate that it is in fact allied with al-Qaeda-linked groups in Idlib. So, its forces are likely preparing for a new confrontation with the Syrian Army.

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Mysterious Drones Kill Militants In Greater Idlib

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On April 16, airstrikes destroyed two vehicles of Jaysh al-Nasir and the 1st Coastal Division in the town of al-Enkawi on the contact line in northwestern Hama. According to local sources, 3 militants were killed and 3 others were injured in the strikes.

Some opposition sources claimed that the strikes were conducted by an Iranian unmanned combat aerial vehicle, while others said the drone was Russian. In the past several years, opposition sources repeatedly speculated that the Russian military was testing Kalashnikov KUB-BLA loitering munitions in Syria.

On April 15, the Syrian Army eliminated Abu al-Walid Tell Hadya, a prominent field commander of the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL), in a rocket strike on the town of Maarbalit in southern Idlib. Both Jaysh al-Nasir and the 1st Coastal Division are also parts of the NFL.

A large explosion rocked the Turkish-occupied village of al-Ahras in the northern part of al-Hasakah province. The car bomb, which exploded just near a joint position of the Turkish Army and Turkish-backed militants, reportedly killed and injured several Turkish personnel. Following the incident, Turkish troops carried out a raid in the village detaining several civilians.

Over the past months, there have been dozens of IED and car bomb attacks within the Turkish-occupied part of Syria. Turkish sources often blame Kurdish armed groups for these attacks, but provide no evidence to confirm these claims. At the same time, ISIS cells are also active in the area.

A group of former ISIS commanders met in the town of Tell Abyad in northern Raqqa under the protection of Turkish-backed forces, according to media reports. ISIS members reportedly cooperate with the al-Shamiya Front, a faction of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army. The town is reportedly filled with graffiti supporting the terrorist group.

Local sources speculate that former ISIS members will be employed by Turkish intelligence to stage terrorist attacks and provocations against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian Army.

On the morning of April 16, patriotic civilians and Syrian Army members intercepted a convoy of the U.S.-led coalition and forced it to withdraw near the village of Tell Hamis in al-Hasakah province. This became the fifth such incident in the past few weeks. Earlier, US forces had repeatedly blocked movement of the Syrian Army and the Russian Military Police in the province. Now, they are passing through a similar experience.

Unknown militants ambushed a vehicle of the Syrian Army on the road between the villages of Izraa and Buser al-Harir in the province of Daraa. At least 3 soldiers were killed and 2 others were injured. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, yet. ISIS cells are known to be active in Daraa, especially in the governorate’s northern and eastern countryside. Furthermore, some supporters of radical Idlib armed groups are still active in this part of the country.

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Turkish Forces Clash With Their Own Proxies On M4 Highway In Southern Idlib

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On April 13, the Turkish Army and its proxies from the so-called Free Syrian Police clashed with supporters of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other radical Idlib groups east of the town of Nayrab on the M4 highway.

According to sources loyal to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham a few hundred members of the Free Syrian Police and a few dozen Turkish troops were involved in the operation. After a series of clashes with radicals, they removed an improvised protest camp set up east of Nayrab. At some moment, Turkish forces even appeared to be engaged in a firefight with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham militants, but the situation quickly de-escalated and the protest camp blocking the highway re-appeared a few km to the west of its previous location.

Pro-Turkish media immediately branded the April 13 developments as a heroic attempt to de-block the M4 highway and finally launch joint Russian-Turkish patrols along the entire pre-agreed to M4 security zone. This explanation is far from reality. The de-escalation deal remains far from any kind of real implementation. The area of the supposed security zone is still in the hands of al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Ankara had no opportunity to ignore the radicals’ nest east of Nayrab because it could put an end to even the current ‘limited’ format of the joint Russian-Turkish patrols. All 3 previous joint patrols took place in the limited area between Saraqib and Nayrab because of security reasons. If the camp east of Nayrab was not removed, even such patrols would be no longer possible.

However, even this limited move caused a new wave of tensions between Turkish-controlled armed groups and their more independent allies. A firefight erupted between members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Turkish proxies from Faylaq Sham near the village of Msibin on the M4 highway.

Earlier, tensions between members of Turkey’s Syrian National Army and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-led forces were reported north of Daraat Izzah in western Aleppo.

Any Turkish attempts to de-block the M4 highway west of Nayrab will likely lead to a larger escalation in the area and may lead to more attacks on Turkish forces in Greater Idlib. The previous two IED attacks happened just after joint Turkish-Russian patrols west of Saraqib. The situation in Greater Idlib is in stalemate.

On the one hand, Ankara cannot continue ignoring attempts of groups that it funds to undermine its own attempts to implement the de-escalation deal with Russia at least formally. On the other hand, it does not want to use force to neutralize radicals in southern Idlib because the very same militants are the core of its influence in this part of Syria.

An explosion erupted on a natural gas pipeline in the area of al-Shadadi in the province of al-Hasakah. The incident happened just near the al-Jisba oil field controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led coalition. According to Kurdish sources, it remains unclear what group was behind the attack. Nonetheless, it is no secret that ISIS cells have recently increased their activities within the SDF-held area on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

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SYRIAN SOLDIERS KILLED IN TURKISH STRIKES IN IDLIB. KURDISH REBELS ATTACK TURKISH PROXIES IN AFRIN

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The Afrin Liberation Forces carried out a series of attacks on Turkish-backed militants in northern Aleppo. According to the group, its fighters stormed positions of Turkish proxies near Omra killing three of them on March 26. On April 1, the group’s members blew up a vehicle of a field commander, Abu Khalid. The commander and his three bodyguards were killed, while the fourth one was injured. On the same day, Kurdish rebels detonated an IED at a headquarters of Turkish-backed forces in the al-Mahmudiyah neighborhood of Afrin city. The attack resulted in material losses only.

The Afrin Liberation Forces is a brand used by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to distance themselves from regular attacks on the Turkish Army and Turkish-backed groups in northern Syria. They launch their attacks from the YPG-controlled area near the city of Aleppo and have a network of cells within the Turkish-occupied region of Afrin.

Turkish convoys with building blocks and engineering equipment were entering Syria through the Kafr Lusin border crossing on April 1 and April 2. Later, the equipment and building blocks then were delivered to the militant-held part of the M4 highway in southern Idlib. The Turkish military is reportedly planning to use them to set up a group of fortified checkpoints along the highway in order to solidify its presence there. In March, Turkish forces in the area became a target of two IED attacks by radical militants, and Ankara reasonably expects that such attacks could continue in April.

On April 2, two Syrian soldiers were killed and five others were injured in a Turkish artillery strike on a Syrian Army checkpoint near the town of Tell Tamr in the province of al-Hasakah. In 2019, the army established a number of positions in northeastern Syria following a breakthrough agreement with local Kurdish militias. Then, joint Syrian-Russian efforts allowed to limit the Turkish military operation against Kurdish forces and prevent a larger escalation. Nonetheless, sporadic firefights and artillery duels regularly erupt on the contact line between the Turkish Army and its proxies on the one hand and the  Syrian Army and Kurdish militias on the other hand.

Meanwhile, the US-led coalition reinforced its military base in the oil-rich area of Rmelan. The US base is located near one of the country’s largest oil fields. It can produce up to 90,000 barrels a day. Earlier, the US military deployed additional equipment and troops to its positions in the area of al-Shaddadi in southern al-Hasakah.

According to the Pentagon, about 500 US troops remain deployed in the oil-rich areas in the provinces of Deir Ezzor and al-Haskah. However, the scale of military activity in the region indicate that the real number of personnel involved is likely higher.

U.S. occupation forces send 62 trucks plus 11 Hummer vehicles to their illegal bases in Syria- Turkish occupation forces carry out artillery strikes on a Syrian town

ST

Sunday, 15 March 2020 13:28

HASAKA, (ST)_U.S. convoy composed of 62 trucks loaded with military and logistic equipment plus 11 Hummer military vehicles entered the Syrian terrorists coming from the north of Iraq, according to local sources

The US occupation forces sent the new convoy to Syria through al-Walid crossing point in order to reinforce their bases in the Syrian al-Jazeera area to loot the Syrian oil, violating the international law.

On March 10, 2020, the U.S. occupation forces sent 10 trucks to their illegal base in Khrab al-Jir airbase in Malekeyeh area in Qameshli countryside.

Basma Qaddour   

Turkish occupation forces carry out artillery strikes on a Syrian town

HASAKA, (ST)_The Turkish occupation forces have renewed their attack on Syrian territories on Hasaka province, according to the Syrian News Agency (SANA).

The agency reported today that Turkish artillery fire hit Tawelet al-Wekaa village in the northwestern countryside of Hasaka, causing material damages.

Since the start of its attack on Syrian territories on October,9, 2019, the Turkish regime’s forces and mercenaries have perpetrated criminal acts against civilians and destroyed infrastructures causing the displacement of huge number of residents towards the cities of Hasaka and Qameshli.

In the same context, local sources told SANA that an explosive device detonated inside the headquarters of the Turkish regime’s mercenaries in the south of Ras al-Ayn city, but no details were reported about the losses as the mercenaries imposed a security cordon on the scene.

Last Thursday, 4 Turkish soldiers were killed and 8 others wounded when a car bomb exploded in the Turkish-occupied Tal Halef town to the northwest of Hasaka.

Basma Qaddour

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  3. A civilian died due to an explosive charge planted by terrorists in his car
  4. Syria to sterilize all modes of transport at crossing points over Coronavirus fears

 

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