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Barely a week goes by in Syria, without Israel reminding of itself and the warplanes it has.
At dawn on May 5th, Israeli warplanes carried out an attack on several areas in northwestern Syria, including the port city of Latakia along the Mediterranean coast. The strikes also hit the towns of Hifa, east of Latakia, and Masyaf in Hama province
Syrian Air Defense systems reportedly intercepted most of the missiles that were launched.
According to initial reports, the strike led to the death of a civilian and the wounding of six others, including a child and his mother. This comes in addition to some material losses, including a civilian plastics production factory. A Syrian military site in Deir Shamil, near Masyaf was struck, personnel was injured.
Airstrikes appear to be all the rage in Syria, as the US-led coalition reported that on May 4th it had carried out a strike and eliminated a single ISIS terrorist in Deir Ezzor. Essentially, Washington’s forces carried out a drone strike on a single person sitting in a car.
Comparatively, Russian forces seem to be more effective, on May 3rd and 4th, Russia’s Aerospace Forces carried out dozens of airstrikes on ISIS positions in Syria’s central and eastern regions.
The May 4th strikes targeted locations in the eastern countryside of Hama and the administrative border between Hama and al-Raqqah.
Additionally, Russian fighter jets carried out dozens of airstrikes on the Syrian Desert on May 3rd, along with the ongoing search for ISIS cells in Athria area, Aleppo-Hama-al-Raqqah triangle, Jabal al-Bishri, and other positions in the eastern countryside of Homs. The number of airstrikes is at least 55, and there are reports of an unknown number of casualties.
This increased activity is in preparation of an expected operation by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its Russian support that should take place in the central region, further contain ISIS’ diminished numbers and limit the terrorist influence.
Local media reports claimed that reinforcements from the SAA’s 25th Tiger Force division were deployed to the desert area east of Itria.
Taking advantage of Russia and the SAA’s focus being elsewhere, Turkey and the factions it backs are attempting to stir the pot in northern Syria. Ankara’s forces, and the “moderate opposition” shelled a number of villages in the Aleppo countryside, causing only material damages.
Ankara is taking the chance, as the impending anti-ISIS operation is sure to not last indefinitely, and Damascus’ gaze is sure to turn northward sooner or later. Its positions and those of the militants it supports need to be reinforced and secured.