Hello and welcome to the 238th installment of the SWD.
Military events/news are listed below by the governorates:
The Syrian Democratic Forces released 86 people who had joined ISIS at the time the terrorist organization occupied the city. This is a peacebuilding act between the US-backed forces and local populations. Although it may look unfair and, apparently, to work against the peace objectives, it is would be impossible to detain all the ISIS soldiers and collaborators. Other examples in history are the German and Italian populations that after they were defeated during the Second World War, even though they collaborated with the totalitarian regimes, were capable to hold their administrative positions, or simply where freed after some time detained -soldiers and low-rank officials mainly. This way the winning side can assure the administrative part of the newly captured area to keep working.
A Turkish drone went 18 km inside Aleppo governorate and flew over the areas held between YPG and rebel forces. The drone has monitored the frontlines for some time before returning to Turkish airspace.
The Division 23rd of the Free Syrian Army shelled government positions near Khanasir area with multiple 128 mm rockets with unknown damage. On the government side, a Russian air strike destroyed a school in Tal Al-Daman, in south Aleppo governorate. Reports also confirm this was the only secondary school in the region.
Pro-rebel sources report a government offensive took place near Khanasser with close Russian air support. The offensive achieved some small gains, but those were reversed by rebel forces later on.
Reports from Idlib notice that HTS handed over control of its governmental institutions to the civilian Government/Council.
Government artillery shelled the city of Lataminah and the surrounding areas with unknown damage or victims.
HTS hit a government ammunition truck near Abu Lafeh with an ATGM. HTS has hit multiple sites and government-held vehicles with ATGM in the past days. Furthermore, multiple pro-rebel sources published images of their forces inside the recently captured village of Balil. The village was taken last night along the surrounding hills. Government forces bombed the area this morning.
On the Government side, the Syrian Arab Army launched a counterattack by the afternoon against HTS forces. The attack managed to liberate Um Khazeem hill while soldiers were backed by artillery and heavy armour.
HTS claimed to have assaulted the last ISIS positions in North East Hama countryside. The terrorist organization also announced they captured Hajilah, Tutah and Aniq villages from ISIS. These are considered the last positions held by ISIS on the north side of Hama governorate.
Further East, SyAAF bombed multiple HTS-held areas in northeast Hama. The warplanes targeted almost all the infrastructure of the area, including power supply towers. Moreover, one civilian casualty has been reported after a Russian strike hit Abyan.
Rebel forces in Eastern Ghouta launched multiple mortar and missiles towards the centre of Damascus city. Some of the projectiles hit areas around the Russian Embassy and other shells hit the Syrian Parliament building. Reports suggest at least one civilian has been killed by the shelling. Shortly after, retaliation from SAA forces caused at least one civilian wounded in Ayn Terma. Retaliation also targeted Nashabiyah town in Maraj area, Saqba neighbourhood, the city of Duma and the village of Masraba. Civilian casualties have been reported in Douma, where one child was killed and multiple civilians wounded, and five civilians killed in Saqba area.
Some reports suggest that Faylaq al-Rahman is attacking and detaining certain HTS elements in some sectors inside East Ghouta area. The group Faylaq al-Rahman and HTS have been fighting for some months in a struggle for power control of the East Damascus rebel-held pocket.
IED and mine-clearing operations are still ongoing inside the areas recently captured by SAA from ISIS control. One of the IEDs left behind by the terrorist organisation injured four journalists from the NTV and Zvezda TV and also five Russian military engineers. Meanwhile, Syrian government forces are still capturing some heavy armour and tanks that ISIS forces were forced to leave while fleeing.
The SAA group “Taha Group”, a member of the elite unit “Tiger Forces” launched the “Albukamal offensive” from eastern Mayadeen.
Early this morning, the Syrian Democratic Forces captured the hill overlooking Busayrah, named Tell. By early night, the US-backed forces entered the city of Busayrah, once one of the most strategic towns in the province.
On the Iraqi border, the Iraqi PMU Kata’ib Hazballah announced it is prepared to participate in the liberation of Albukamal from Iraq side. Early this morning, reinforcements from the Iraqi army and the Popular Militias arrived at the city of Al Qa’im, next to the Syrian-Iraqi border.
The Syrian Democratic Forces stormed Maqadah village under the “Cizire Storm” campaign against ISIS forces in easternmost Syrian region. Two to three hours later, the city was captured by the US-backed forces.
The CJTF-OIR announced a change in their publishing policy. Now two strikes reports will be published each week, on Mondays and Fridays.