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International Military Review – Syria, Dec. 21, 2015

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The Russian Aerospace Defense Forces are continuing to conduct airstrikes destroying terrorists in Syria. According to the Ministry of Defense of Russia, warplanes conduct about 60 sorties per day targeting positions of ISIS, al Nusra and other terrorist groups in the Aleppo, Homs, Deir ez-Zor, Latakia, Damascus, Hama, Idlib, Raqqa, Hasakah provinces.

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and allies have been pushing terrorists from the crucial regions of the country, step by step. In East Aleppo, the pro-government forces have broken the ISIS militants’ counterattack in Narsallah and captured Najara and al-Jaberia. Dozens militants have been killed. In South Aleppo, Jaish al-Fatah terrorist alliance lost about 60 militants in clashes against the Syrian forces in recent days.

On Dec. 20, the SAA’s 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah captured the strategic town of Khan Touman and its surrounding farms from the militants of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Al-Nusra. Prior to capturing the town, the Syrian forces seized the imperative village of Al-Qarassi after a series of firefights with Faylaq Al-Sham, Jabhat Al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, and Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki. The Russia-made T-90 battle tanks played a crucial role during battles in the region, as its protective armor and durability made it difficult for the enemy combatants to halt their advance. US-supplied TOW missile systems can’t inflict enough damage to T-90.

In North Latakia, the pro-government forces are advancing to take control of the border with Turkey. The movement there are complicated by a mountainous terrain and a high number of supplies providing by Turkey to the terrorists.

The city of Homs is almost controlled by the Syrian government. Week ago, militants has started to move from the city. However, the province’s northern part is controlled by ISIS and Al Nusra. The clashes are going there. The heavy clashes without any success for any side also continuing around Palmyra. The Eastern Ghouta and area along the Damascus-Homs highway are a center of the clashes around Damascus despite the army’s successes in the area. The town of Marj al Sultan and the Marj al Sultan airport were liberated by the government forces last week.

According to the SAA’s reports, since the start of the Russian military operations in Syria, the government forces have taken control of about 60 towns, villages and other infrastructure objects. Meanwhile, the US is building its first airbase in Syria. It is supposed to be located in the northern Kurdish region. Thus, the US and NATO will continue to participate in the Syrian conflict and will apparently rise their military presence in the region in the nearest future. Thus, they show that the West isn’t interested in any political solution which respects the interests of the Syrian people and their legitimate government.

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