Latest Updates on Syria, 17 December 2020

Thursday, 17 December 2020 - 10:06

– On December 17, the joint operation of the Syrian and Russian armies continues for the third day in a row in the Syrian desert against ISIS cells. Most of these clashes are taking place in the areas of al-Boshra mountain and the deserts between Deir Ezzor and Tadmur. In recent weeks, the activities and attacks of ISIS cells against the positions of the Syrian army forces in the Syrian desert have increased and the Syrian army has suffered significant losses; Hence, a joint Russian-Syrian operation was launched to suppress ISIS in these areas.

The approx area of the Syrian army’s operations against ISIS in the Syrian desert

– According to information provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense, in the last 24 hours, the militants have violated the ceasefire in Idlib 34 times. There have been 16 ceasefire violations in Idlib province, 4 ceasefire violations in Aleppo province, 15 ceasefire violations in Latakia province and 2 ceasefire violations in Hama province.

– Clashes between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkish-backed militants continue in the Ain Issa area north of Raqqa. Clashes continued during the week while according to an agreement reached between the SDF and Russia, it was supposed to several new military posts were to be set up around the city of Ain Issa to prevent the militant operations; However, artillery attacks and sporadic ground clashes continue in the north of Ain Issa.

– Unidentified gunmen attacked one of the offices of the Kurdish National Council in the town of Darbasiyah. Another attack was also reported in the town of Amuda in the northern countryside of al-Hasakah.
The Kurdish National Council (KNC or ENKS) is a Syrian Kurdish political party that enjoyed more international and popular support than the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the early years of the war, but was later marginalized as the PYD grew in popularity. Now the KNC holds only two seats in the National Democratic Council (SDC).

– The Turkish army completed the evacuation of the al-Surman observation post east of Maarat al-Numan and handed over the post to the Syrian army. So far the observation posts of Morek, Sher Mughar, Sheikh Aqil, al-Rashedin and al-Surman have been vacated by the Turkish army.
On December 16, Turkish forces started evacuating the al-Eis observation post in the southern countryside of Aleppo.

– According to information provided by the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (KDP), the Kurdistan Region forces prevented the infiltration of about 60 YPG militants into Iraqi territory near al-Sahila. YPG forces reportedly tried to seize one of the border posts belonging to the Iraqi Peshmerga, but were unable to do so after an hour of fighting. However the YPG denied the KDP accusations.

– US forces conduct a military patrol south of Hasakah in the al-Shaddadi area.

– Russian military police conduct a patrol along the borders of the occupied Golan Heights in southern Syria. This military patrol started from Hadar village and continued after crossing Quneitra to Saida al-Golan area.

Russian military patrol route in southern Syria

– 393 Syrian refugees were transferred to Syria from Lebanon through the Yabous and Tal Kalakh crossings. Last week, another 452 Syrian refugees returned to the country. According to the Lebanese government, there are currently about 1.5 million Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, some of them living in refugee camps and most of them in various cities.

– The Syrian Cham Wings Airlines announced the return of its flights from the Saudi capital Riyadh to Damascus.

– The Syrian army seized significant quantities of light and heavy ammunition and weapons in southern Syria. Some of these weapons are Israel-made.

– The SDF raided Abu Hamam village and arrested a number of members of the Shaitat tribe in response to anti-SDF demonstrations that took place in the village.
On the other hand, the “Shaitat” clan issued a statement after those events, in which it held the “international coalition” led by America responsible for the arrests, calling for a comprehensive uprising in response to the practices of the “SDF” and its suppression of the people.

– On December 17, Feisal Miqdad, Foreign Minister of Syria arrived in Moscow to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

– Syrian government authorities allowed partial return of residents of Wadi Barada villages in Damascus countryside. The return included the villages of al-Khadra, Bassima, Deir Muqrin, al-Husseiniyah and other villages in Wadi Barada.
On early 2017 the Syrian army were able to control all the cities and towns of Wadi Barada area after the signing of a reconciliation agreement with the militants.

Click to see the full size map


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