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As of January 6, the war in Syria continues to heat up, mainly in the northeastern region where fierce confrontation between the US-led coalition and Iranian-backed forces may break out soon.
The escalation began on January 4 when the US-led coalition struck several launch sites for short-range rockets near the government-held town of al-Mayadin in the southern countryside of Deir Ezzor. The rockets were allegedly aimed to target the Green Village, the coalition’s main base in al-Omar oil fields in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside.
The strikes failed to deter Iranian-backed forces. Early on January 5, a rocket attack targeted the Green Village. There were no casualties, however.
The attack on the Green Village was apparently carried out to honor the memory of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy-Commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, and Iranian Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani who were assassinated by the US around two years ago.
The US-led coalition responded with a new wave of strikes that also targeted positions of Iranian-backed forces around al-Mayadin.
The situation in northeastern Syria may escalate further, especially if the coalition attempts to launch more strikes on government-held areas in Deir Ezzor.
Meanwhile in the central region, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies continue to operate against ISIS cells.
On January 5, four Russian airstrikes hit hideout of the terrorist group near the town of al-Resafa in the southern countryside of Raqqa.
Russian warplanes have carried out 69 airstrikes on ISIS hideouts in the central region since the beginning of 2022. This forced the terrorist group to slow down its operations.
In Syria’s northwestern region, known as Greater Idlib, the situation appears to be improving to some extent.
The al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of the region, and its allies violated the ceasefire a few times on January 4. The Russian Aerospace Forces responded with airstrikes on the town of al-Bara in the southern countryside of Idlib. Since then, the situation has been somehow calm.
In the southern region a new Israeli attack was reported late on January 5. Battle tanks of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) shelled the outskirts of al-Hurriyah town in al-Quneitra. No casualties were reported.
The attack on al-Hurriyah marks the first known Israeli combat operation against Syria in 2022.
A larger Israeli attack may target Syria soon. Israeli reconnaissance aircraft have been very active for a few days now.