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After a few weeks of de-escalation, Syria appears to be faced with a new wave of violence. As of February 14, several military and security development were reported in the war-torn country.
In Syria’s northern and northeastern regions, Turkish forces and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continue to exchange fire.
On February 12, five civilians were wounded near the Turkish-occupied town of Jarabulus in the northeastern Aleppo countryside in an attack that was attributed to the SDF. The civilians were allegedly targeted with two anti-tank guided missiles.
Turkish forces responded on the same day. A Turkish combat drone targeted a vehicle near a center of the SDF’s core faction, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), in the town of Amuda in the northern al-Hasakah countryside. Several people, including a YPG commander, were reportedly wounded.
On February 13, Turkish forces hit again, this time in the northern Raqqa countryside. A series of Turkish artillery strikes targeted a group of SDF fighters who were building fortifications near the town of Ain Issa. One SDF fighter was killed and two others were wounded as a result of the strikes.
The escalation between Turkish forces and the SDF in northern and northeastern Syria will not likely end soon. Each side appears to be determined to deter the other.
In an unrelated development from the northeastern region, soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and supporters of the Damascus government intercepted a convoy of the US-led coalition near the town of Tell al-Dahab in the northern al-Hasakah countryside on February 13.
The incident is the most recent in a series of similar confrontations, which are meant to restrict the movement of US-led coalition forces in al-Hasakah.
Meanwhile in Syria’s northwestern region, also known as Greater Idlib, the situation is heating up.
On February 12, a loitering munition launched by Russian forces struck a fortified position of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) near the town of Kafr Nouran in the western countryside of Aleppo.
On the same day, SAA artillery shelled positions of HTS and its allies in the western Aleppo countryside.
The Syrian and Russian strikes were apparently a response to recent ceasefire violations by HTS and its allies.
In Syria’s central region, the Russian Aerospace Forces stepped up its operations against ISIS cells.
Between February 10 and 12, at least 16 ISIS terrorists were killed and more than 30 others were wounded as a result of Russian airstrikes that targeted different parts of the central region.
The Russian airstrikes pinned down the ISIS cells. The terrorists were able to carry out a single attack on February 11. The attack, which took place in the eastern Homs countryside, targeted a convoy of the SAA. An officer and two soldiers were reportedly killed.
In southern Syria, the situation is also deteriorating. Several security incidents were reported as of February 14.
The most serious incident took place on February 12, when unidentified gunmen shot and killed Musab al-Bardan, cochairman of the Central Committee of the western countryside of Daraa, in the town of Athman.
The situation in Daraa and the rest of Syria could escalate even further in the upcoming few weeks. In general, the war in the country will not likely end anytime soon.