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International Military Review – Syria, Feb. 12, 2016

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The Russian Aerospace Defense Forces have conducted 510 sorties destroying 1888 terrorist targets in in the Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Deir ez-Zor, Daraa, Homs, Al-Hasakah and Raqqa over last 7 days.

The Syrian Army announced that it destroyed an ISIS oil tanker and a number of major military facilities and hardware in a concerted air and ground operation in the province of Suwayda. The Syrian troops are conducting military operations against militant targets at Dara’a province’s border with Suwayda.

ISIS launched a massive offensive with usage of suicide bombers and heavy military equipment on the Deir Ezzor Military Airport on Feb.11. The event continued a series of the terrorists’ attempts to break the base’s fortifications this year. Following the heavy clashes, the SAA was able to defend its positions in the area. Pro-Syrian sources also report heavy casualties among ISIS militants. Nonetheless this is not yet confirmed by photo and video proofs.

In a separate development, west of the airport, the SAA repeal another ISIS advance aimed on the 137th Brigade’s headquarters near Jabal Al-Thardeh. The recent developments have shown that ISIS still maintain a possibility to conduct offensive operations in the province of Deir Ezzor despite the loses in other areas of Syria.

On Feb.11, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia made a proposal on a ceasefire in Syria. The proposal was supported by the U.S. and its allies. Thus, the ceasefire is set to begin next week and will continue indefinitely until further specified. It won’t extend to organizations which the UN Security Council designates as terrorist.

Thus, the Russian Aerospace Forces will be able to continue operations against ISIS, al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and other affiliated organizations. The ceasefire also should assist all non-jihadist forces in Syria to concentrate efforts on the terrorist groups in Syria. However, it’s a big question how the all sides of the conflict will act in practice.

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