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Why is it important to carefully monitor the developments in Syria, despite the apparent uniformity? The answer is simple – in the conditions of chaos spreading throughout the global international system, Syria is one of the main markers which indicates the launch of new stages of reactive global military and political processes.
As of December 13, the situation in Syria remains highly unstable, especially in the northern, northwestern, northeastern, central and southern regions.
In the northwestern region of Greater Idlib, which is under control of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), limited military operations continue.
On December 11, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces targeted the house of infamous Chechen leader Muslim Abu Walid al-Shishani near the town of Yacubiyeh in the western Idlib countryside. While the terrorist survived the attack, his bodyguard Abu Mohamad al-Ansar was killed.
The assassination attempt led to a backlash with HTS fighters, who were accused by radicals of cooperating with the Russian intelligence to get rid of al-Shishani.
On December 12, three Syrian servicemen were allegedly killed and two others were wounded when HTS militants targeted a position of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) near the town of Kafr Muos in the southern countryside of Idlib with an anti-tank guided missile. In its turn, the SAA shelled militants’ positions in the Kafr Taal and al-Atarib in the western countryside of Aleppo.
Also on December 12, at least five US General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper combat drones were spotted over the northern part of Greater Idlib, where the key headquarters of HTS is known to be located. The drones were likely hunting down a wanted terrorist.
Meanwhile in the central and northeastern regions, ISIS insurgency against Syrian government forces and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is still going strong.
On December 11, the SDF imposed a curfew in the town of al-Busayrah in the southeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor in response to a large-scale hit-and-run attack by the terrorist group.
The attack, which took place on December 10, targeted the headquarters of the SDF’s 1st Brigade. ISIS claimed that the SDF sustained “casualties” as a result of the attack, without providing any numbers.
Also on December 11, ISIS cells launched a large-scale attack on several positions of the SAA 17th Division and the Palestinian al-Quds Brigade near the town of al-Masrab in the northern countryside of Deir Ezzor.
Seven personnel of the 17th Division and the al-Quds Brigade were killed and at least 17 others were wounded in the attack.
In the southern region, Syrian government forces continue to improve security measures in a bid to end unrest.
On December 12, security forces established a new checkpoint near the town of Nawa in the western countryside of Daraa. Several attacks on civilians and service members took place near the town in the past.
The recent measures of government forces reduced violence in the southern region to some degree. However, more efforts are still needed to stabilize the region.
The situation in Syria will not change before the next year spring, especially with the current challenges facing the UN-sponsored settlement process. Various international terrorist groups, the West and Turkey are sending unequivocal signals that they do not intend to leave the long-suffering Syrian people alone. The country will likely remain one of the hottest spots on the planet in the upcoming 2022.