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On the morning of December 30th, warplanes of the Israeli Air Force once again carried out strikes on alleged Iranian targets in the countryside of Damascus. According to reports one person was killed and 3 others injured in the attack.
Earlier, an unidentified, unmanned aerial vehicle struck several oil tanks near the village of al-Hamran, which is located north of the town of Manbij in northern Syria. The village is situated on the contact line between territories controlled by Turkish-backed forces and the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
According to local sources, the oil tankers belonged to SDF-linked oil smugglers, who were selling oil looted from the US-controlled oil fields on the eastern bank of the Euphrates to Turkish-linked entities. This oil smuggling business sheds light on the real face of the Kurdish SDF leadership, which likes to make loud statements about its alleged patriotism and its plans to expel the Turkish Army from northern Syria.
In Idlib, three Russian service members received minor injuries as a result of an ATGM strike on their armoured vehicle, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on December 29. The report said that an armored personnel carrier of the Russian Military Police came under attack from the territory controlled by Turkish-backed militants. Russian forces, in cooperation with the Turkish military and Syrian security forces, are looking for those involved.
These developments came as the Turkish Armed Forces were working to evacuate their observation point near the town of Tell Touqan. This was one of their last remaining points within the territories, which have been liberated by the Syrian Army.
Over the past months, Turkey has withdrawn a group of its posts, which had been besieged by Syrian troops. In light of this, the recent increase in attacks by Turkish proxies along the contact line may be a part of the Turkish game aimed at demonstrating that any decrease of the Turkish military presence in Greater Idlib would lead to the deterioration of the security situation there.