DAMASCUS, ($1=1,257.86 Syrian Pounds) – In the eastern part of the country, forces from the international coalition led by Washington arrested a prominent leader of the Islamic State organization during a landing operation in the village of Al-Izba, north of Deir Ez-Zor, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
Abu Omar al-Bukamali, a media activist in the region, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the coalition had arrested a leader named Bandar al-Sawadi, who holds the position of “emir of the organization” in the town of Al-Mayadin in Deir Ez-Zor.
He added that al-Sawadi is considered one of the most prominent Islamic State leaders in the region at the moment and has led many military operations in the Syrian desert.
In the northwestern part of the country, Idlib media activist Bilal Bayush said in an interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that regime forces were bombing heavy artillery and rockets on Saturday night in the plains of Khirbet Al-Naqoos and Al-Ziyara. Al-Gab, west of Hama, caused damage to residents’ homes.
He added that the shelling was also aimed at the positions of opposition factions on the axis of the town of Tadel, west of Aleppo, without information about casualties.
The civil war in Syria
The Syrian civil war has been going on for almost a decade. Attempts by movements such as the Syrian Democratic Forces to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have failed.
The Syrian democratic forces are armed by allies and the United States, while the Syrian army is armed mainly by Russia. Russia is the only country officially invited to Syria by President Bashar al-Assad.
In 2017, the United States launched a massive missile strike on Bashar al-Assad’s forces after a report emerged that the Syrian president had used chemical weapons to attack his people in the country. Syria and Russia deny such actions.
During his tenure, US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw much of US troops from Syria, leaving several troops to guard Syria’s oil fields on the pretext of “falling into the hands of Islamic State.”
With the withdrawal of the United States, Turkey comes to the fore, declaring it necessary to deal with the Kurds and the PKK movement in the northern part of the country, which borders Turkey. That is why Erdogan is sending troops in an attempt to build a stable and secure 30km zone between Syria and Turkey, which will prevent future terrorist attacks on Turkish territory, as it is.
In February 2020, Turkey lost at least 62 troops killed in Syria. Nearly 100 soldiers were wounded, Syrian-backed forces destroyed dozens of Turkish armored vehicles, and more than ten drones, including drones, were shot down. Washington has repeatedly accused Moscow of involvement in the deaths of Turkish soldiers, Russia rejects these allegations.
In early March 2020, the presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed that a ceasefire came into force in the Idlib de-escalation zone. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad later said that if the US and Turkish military did not leave the country, Damascus would use military power.
The reason for the Russian-Turkish negotiations was a sharp aggravation of the situation in Idlib, where in January, a large-scale offensive by the Syrian army against the positions of the armed opposition and terrorists began.
Government forces recaptured nearly half of the Idlib de-escalation zone and left behind several Turkish observation posts. After that, Ankara sharply increased its military contingent in the region and launched the operation “Spring Shield” to push the Syrian troops. Militants are loyal to Ankara and support Turkey.
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