Syrian War Daily – 21st of August 2019

Hello and welcome to the 888th installment of the SWD.

Military events/news are listed below by the governorates:

Aleppo: 

At least three Turkish-backed rebels were killed while fighting the Syrian Democratic Forces on the Kafr Khashir – as per published by the Rojava Network video on Twitter.

Additionally, Turkish warplanes were spotted flying over Northern Aleppo (within the Afrin Liberation Forces/Syrian Democratic Forces held-Aleppo). So far, no further escalation was reported – referring to bombings, rocket launches or air raids.

Idlib-Hama Frontlines: 

Operations to capture the last pocket of rebel-held Hama continued today. The Syrian Arab Army was able to close the pocket and encircle the villages of Al Lataminah, Murak and Kafr Zayta. The city of Khan Shaykhun was fully captured by government forces.  Multiple air raids were reported on the besieged areas – including the Turkish observation point, with at least one known civilian casualty.

The besiege was possible thanks to the advance on the Tell Tara axis, which according to both government and rebel sources was successfully captured by the SAA. The troops at Khan Sheikhoun were able to meet the troops coming from Sukayk/Tell Tara at 19:30 Local Hour (Damascus).

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The situation on Idlib-Hama front on the 21st of August 2019 – Map via @PetoLucem

The situation at the Turkish observation post remains unknown since there are no news from Turkey nor the Syrian government and its allies, besides the commentary posted by the Twitter Profile @AACanli stating that Turkey has no intention to close the observation point “N. 9th”, and that it “will continue to operate on-site”. 

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Location of the allegedly besieged Turkish observation post on the 21st of August 2019 – Map via @A7_Mirza

Idlib: 

Russian and Syrian aeroplanes continued targeting multiple areas throughout the day – for the second day in a row, focusing its targets on areas next to M5 highway. Multiple civilian casualties, as well as wounded, were reported – an unknown number of deaths and at least 7 wounded.

Shelling using helicopters and barrel bombs was also reported on the city of Tall Munis and Jarjanaz. This kind of shelling as become rarer in areas like Idlib due to the helicopters’ vulnerability.

A new Turkish military observation post near Hish (on the M5 highway) was reported to be being built. This will probably attempt to prevent further advance towards Maarat Al Numan by Syrian government forces.

SAA targeted areas and observation points.jpg
Areas targeted by the Syrian Arab Forces and Turkish observation points as of 21st of August 2019 – Background map via Liveuamap

Clashes between SAA and rebel forces were reported on the town of Kabana. According to rebel forces, one SAA tank (T72) was destroyed. The fighting started as government forces attempted to advance into rebel territory.

Deir ez-Zor:

The terrorist group Wilayat al-Sham uploaded a video in which it renewed the alliance with the Islamic State forces. The video showed a group of more than 40 men, and multiple light vehicles (pick-ups with anti AA guns) at sunrise in an unknown location of the Syrian Central region of Badiyah.

To know further on this topic follow @AbuJamajem‘s analysis: 

Homs:

According to @simonajeger the United Nations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) will leave Rukban in the upcoming days. The UNSARC mission provided “the largest ever humanitarian convoy to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to more than 40.000 displaced people” in the southern border of Syria and Jordan from the 6th of February 2019 until this date.

The UNSARC communicated last week that they started to carry out an assessment mission to Rukban camp in order to create a plan to evacuate the more than 40.000 displaced people to government-held Homs. Most of the residents are unwilling to return to government-held areas fearing possible reprisals.

Other:

Intellectual credited property used may vary from an edition to edition.

Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section below, constructive criticism is welcomed.

For those of you interested, you can follow me on my personal, controversial twitter @alextorrell where I constantly tweet about different issues and conflicts.

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